Published this spring by Utah State University Press, Peculiar Portrayals is a collection of new scholarly articles examining depictions of Mormon characters in mass market venues. The panelists, who are editors of and/or contributors to the project, will discuss the personal and professional reasons behind the book’s creation. Michael Austin will read a part of his chapter, which discusses how the HBO series Big Love uses polygamy to comment on contemporary American notions of the family. Mark Decker’s presentation places Peculiar Portrayals in the context of broader questions about the depiction of ethnicity in American narrative. Aaron Sanders will read a section of his chapter, which explores the way blood atonement has been critiqued in novels written by Mormon authors who are attempting to reach a broader audience.
MICHAEL AUSTIN, MARK T. DECKER, AARON SANDERS