WAS SUSA YOUNG GATES A “FEMINIST?”
Notes from the Field of Mormon Women’s History
DATE: October 9 (Fullerton) and October 10 (La Canada – Flintridge).
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
We are excited to have as our October 2015 Miller Eccles speaker, Dr. Lisa Olsen Tait. A writer and historian, Dr. Tait will speak about the life, accomplishments and impact of Susa Young Gates, both in the Church and in Utah society.
THE TOPIC: Susa Young Gates was a remarkable woman; preeminent in a generation of eminent Mormon women—a writer, editor, Church leader, genealogist, temple worker, political operative, and dynamic personality who claimed she was called the “thirteenth apostle.” She advocated the advancement of women in politics, education, employment, physical health, and domesticity. But she was also largely responsible for formulating the paradigm that “men have priesthood and women have motherhood,” and she firmly advocated a belief in male headship as immutable eternal truth. The apparent contradictions in her life and ideas bring to the fore both the uses and the limitations of Mormon women’s history in speaking to current issues.
THE SPEAKER: Lisa Olsen Tait holds a PhD in American Literature and an interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Houston. She has published award-winning articles and presented research about gender and generational dynamics in nineteenth-century Mormondom. Her long-term project is a biography of Susa Young Gates in cultural and historical context. She works as a historian and writer on the web team at the Church History Library and serves on the executive committee of the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team (MWHIT), an independent group that fosters research and networking in the field of Mormon Women’s History.
Dr. Tait lives in Highland, Utah with her husband Mike and their four children. Their youngest child and only daughter is mentally handicapped. She and her husband are involved with the Special Olympics.
She has served in many callings including Primary President, Young Women’s and Relief Society Presidencies, and teaching Relief Society and Gospel Doctrine classes.
Posted by Scott Volmar