Peter Coviello - "Make Yourselves Gods" - Kathryn Lofton

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Peter Coviello

Peter Coviello discusses Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism. He will be joined in conversation by Kathryn Lofton. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: From the perspective of Protestant America, nineteenth-century Mormons were the victims of a peculiar zealotry, a population deranged––socially, sexually, even racially––by the extravagances of belief they called “religion.” Make Yourselves Gods offers a counter-history of early Mormon theology and practice, tracking the Saints from their emergence as a dissident sect to their renunciation of polygamy at century’s end.

 Over these turbulent decades, Mormons would appear by turns as heretics, sex-radicals, refugees, anti-imperialists, colonizers, and, eventually, reluctant monogamists and enfranchised citizens. Reading Mormonism through a synthesis of religious history, political theology, native studies, and queer theory, Peter Coviello deftly crafts a new framework for imagining orthodoxy, citizenship, and the fate of the flesh in nineteenth-century America. What emerges is a story about the violence, wild beauty, and extravagant imaginative power of this era of Mormonism—an impassioned book with a keen interest in the racial history of sexuality and the unfinished business of American secularism.

About the author: Peter Coviello is professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His books include Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America and Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs.

About the interlocutor: Kathryn Lofton is professor of religious studies, American studies, history and divinity at Yale University.

 

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637