This article brings attention to the lack of scholarship on Mormonism in the history of sexuality. The author proposes rereading Latter-day Saint (LDS) history through a queer theoretical lens arguing that it is essential for historians to access religious archives. In doing so, the author posits, researchers will benefit from challenging the familiar scripts on religion and sexuality that are dominant in both academic and popular discourse. Accessing these types of archival spaces must be paralleled by a shift in archival practice that moves away from recuperation and instead seeks to (re)theorize the process of “queering the archive.” The Mormon example is used to demonstrate how scholars might think through the contingency and complicity of queerness with various dominant formations. The author suggests that in the case of the LDS archive, queerness emerges not as a subjectivity, community, or form of nonnormativity per se but rather as a contextually specific assemblage.
1 May 2015