LOGAN, Utah — Award-winning author, historian, professor and Utah State University alum Jared Farmer will deliver “Music & the Unspoken Truth,” the 28th Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall located on the USU Logan campus.
Unlike other Arrington Mormon History Lectures, Farmer’s lecture will be more of a performance.
“I’m preparing something more like a live podcast than a traditional lecture, with lots of sound clips — some historic, some contemporary, some original,” Farmer said.
Farmer’s lecture will be an homage to the “Music & the Spoken Word” radio show, which has had a weekly broadcast by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1929. Like the show, Farmer’s performative lecture will be a meditation on the relationship between sound, religion and place.
“Instead of lecturing on my specialty — the environmental history of the American West — I decided to pursue a passion project related to music,” Farmer said. “People will learn about Mormon media studies, especially the history of LDS radio and the religious relationships between music, vocality and silence.”
Farmer is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and a former Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He has also published four books.
“It was an honor to receive the invitation,” Farmer said. “The annual Arrington Lecture is one of the big events on the Mormon history calendar. Many distinguished scholars, including my doctoral adviser, have preceded me, so I felt an obligation to do something special.”
Though he was born in Provo, Utah, Farmer’s alma mater is Utah State University. He looks forward to returning to campus.
“I’m not sure I can eat Aggie Ice Cream for lunch, like I did as an undergrad, but I’ll give it try,” Farmer said.
The Arrington Mormon History Lecture is sponsored by USU University Libraries, the USU religious studies program, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The lecture honors former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historian Leonard J. Arrington, whose papers are housed in USU’s Special Collections and Archives. The lecture is open and free to the public. Tickets and reservations are not required. For more information, visit https://library.usu.edu/news/2023/arrington.
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