Author bio

Joanna Brooks

Joanna Brooks - book author

Joanna Brooks is a national voice on Mormon life and politics and an award-winning scholar of religion and American culture. She covers Mormonism, faith, and politics for ReligionDispatches.org and has been named one of “50 Politicos to Watch” by Politico.com.

A twenty-year veteran of the Mormon feminist and LGBT equality movements, Brooks grew up in a conservative Mormon home among the last great orange groves of Orange County, California. She attended Brigham Young University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Joanna Brooks is the author of books: The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith, Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings, Why We Left: Untold Stories and Songs of America's First Immigrants, American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures, Face Zion Forward: First Writers of the Black Atlantic, 1785-1798, Applied Qualitative Research in Psychology, Dialogue Winter 2014 Issue: A journal of Mormon thought (Dialogue Journal Book 4704), Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets, Decolonizing Mormonism: Approaching a Postcolonial Zion, Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began


Author books

#
Title
Description
01
Every Mormon girl has a story to tell. This groundbreaking memoir brings you into one of America’s most fascinating but least understood religious traditions. With humor, tenderness, and honesty, The Book of Mormon Girl reveals what it’s like to grow up in a world where angels stand at our bedsides and ancestors know our names, where Coca-Cola is forbidden fruit and Marie Osmond is a style icon. This is a story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith.
02
This groundbreaking collection gathers together for the first time the essential writings of the contemporary Mormon feminist movement--from its historic beginnings in the 1970s to its vibrant present, offering the best Mormon feminist thought and writing.

No issue in Mormonism has made more headlines than the faith's distinctive approach to sex and gender. From its polygamous nineteenth-century past to its twentieth-century stand against the Equal Rights Amendment and its twenty-first-century fight against same-sex marriage, the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has consistently positioned itself on the frontlines of battles over gender-related identities, roles, and rights. But even as the church has maintained a conservative position in public debates over sex and gender, Mormon women have developed their own brand of feminism by recovering the lost histories of female leadership and exploring the empowering potential of Mormon theology. The selections in this book-many gathered from out-of-print anthologies, magazines, and other ephemera--walk the reader through the history of Mormon feminism, from the second-wave feminism of the 1970s to contemporary debates over the ordination of women.

Collecting essays, speeches, poems, and prose, Mormon Feminism presents the diverse voices of Mormon women as they challenge assumptions and stereotypes, push for progress and change in the contemporary LDS Church, and band together with other feminists of faith hoping to build a better world.
03

Joanna Brooks’s ancestors were among the earliest waves of emigrants to leave England for North America. They lived hardscrabble lives for generations, eking out subsistence in one place after another as they moved forever westward in search of a new life. Why, Brooks wondered, did her people and countless other poor English subjects abandon their homeland to settle for such unremitting hardship? The question leads her on a journey into a largely obscured dimension of American history.


With her family’s background as a point of departure, Brooks brings to light the harsh realities behind seventeenth- and eighteenth-century working-class English emigration—and dismantles the long-cherished idea that these immigrants were drawn to America as a land of opportunity. American folk ballads provide a wealth of clues to the catastrophic contexts that propelled early English emigration to the Americas. Brooks follows these songs back across the Atlantic to find histories of economic displacement, environmental destruction, and social betrayal at the heart of the early Anglo-American migrant experience. The folk ballad “Edward,” for instance, reveals the role of deforestation in the dislocation and emigration of early Anglo-American peasant immigrants. “Two Sisters” discloses the profound social destabilization unleashed by the advent of luxury goods in England. “The Golden Vanity” shows how common men and women viewed their own disposable position in England’s imperial project. And “The House Carpenter’s Wife” offers insights into the impact of economic instability and the colonial enterprise on women.


From these ballads, tragic and heartrending, Brooks uncovers an archaeology of the worldviews of America’s earliest immigrants, presenting a new and haunting historical perspective on the ancestors we thought we knew.


04
The 1780s and 1790s were a critical era for communities of color in the new United States of America. Even Thomas Jefferson observed that in the aftermath of the American Revolution, "the spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust." This book explores the means by which the very first Black and Indian authors rose up to transform their communities and the course of American literary history. It argues that the origins of modern African-American and American Indian literatures emerged at the revolutionary crossroads of religion and racial formation as early Black and Indian authors reinvented American evangelicalism and created new postslavery communities, new categories of racial identification, and new literary traditions.

While shedding fresh light on the pioneering figures of African-American and Native American cultural history--including Samson Occom, Prince Hall, Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and John Marrant--this work also explores a powerful set of little-known Black and Indian sermons, narratives, journals, and hymns. Chronicling the early American communities of color from the separatist Christian Indian settlement in upstate New York to the first African Lodge of Freemasons in Boston, it shows how eighteenth-century Black and Indian writers forever shaped the American experience of race and religion.

American Lazarus offers a bold new vision of a foundational moment in American literature. It reveals the depth of early Black and Indian intellectual history and reassesses the political, literary, and cultural powers of religion in America.
05
At the close of the Revolutionary War, more than 3,000 black Loyalists, many liberated from slavery by enlisting in the British army, made exodus in 1783 from New York to Nova Scotia in search of land and freedom. Almost half of the emigrants settled an independent black community at Birchtown, Nova Scotia, where, despite extraordinarily harsh conditions, they established their own churches and schools, and cultivated a shared sense of themselves as a chosen people. A majority of the population emigrated once again in 1791, this time setting sail for Sierra Leone to fulfill what they perceived to be their prophetic destiny. This circuit of gathering, exodus, and diaspora was grounded in a unique black Atlantic theology focused on redemption and Zion that was conceptualized and shaped by the charismatic black evangelists of diverse Protestant faiths who converged in the Nova Scotia settlements.
"Face Zion Forward" now brings together the remarkable writings of these early authors of the black Atlantic. This collection of memoirs, sermons, and speeches, many of which are based on the Birchtown experience, documents how John Marrant, David George, Boston King, and Prince Hall envisioned the role of Africa and African American communities in black liberation. The volume demonstrates that these men were both collaborators and contestants in the construction of modern post-slavery black identities, and shows how the frameworks of Christian theology and Freemasonry influenced ideas about emancipation and communal independence. The centerpiece of the work is The Journal of John Marrant, published here in its entirety for the first time since 1790. Marrant's missionary diary not only illuminates the intricacies of eighteenth-century African American Christianity, but also presents a richly detailed account of everyday life in Birchtown.
"Face Zion Forward" provides an informed reconstruction of the major ideological and theological conversations that occurred among North American blacks after the American Revolution and illustrates the disparate and complex underpinnings of the modern black Atlantic. In addition, the work presents invaluable insights into African American literary traditions and the development of Ethiopianist and black nationalist discourses.
06
With a highly pragmatic, yet rigorous and pragmatically driven approach, this edited book explores demonstrates qualitative research with an applied approach. Using not only theory but real world setting, readers are introduced to the function and relevance of qualitative methods in psychological research. Exemplified through the contributions of various experts from across the different sub-disciplines of psychology, this text takes a versatile approach to explaining methods in research and covers a broad range of methods in a variety of settings.
This book will appeal to those with an interest in qualitative methods across the spectrum of psychology and beyond. Offering an introduction to applied qualitative research in psychology with a distinctively applied approach, this title is apt for undergraduate psychology students taking modules in research methods, executing research-based projects or those undertaking Masters and taught doctoral level programs in psychology.
08
...the bounty of this] anthology reminded me of Christ's generosity in feeding the five thousand. Christ took real substances-a little bread, two small fish-and he created from them...food that nourished the people and made it possible for them to return to their lives both physically and spiritually renewed. Poets take matter (language, emotion, thought, experience) and make of that matter a new creation, a work of art that did not exist before the poet organized it, a work that has the potential (each poet hopes) to nourish-to make readers see what they did not see before, to offer insight, to create empathy, to provoke thought, or to express beauty, soundness, depth. To offer abundance in place of scarcity. -from the forward by Susan Elizabeth Howe
09
This volume seeks nothing less than to shift the focus of Mormon studies from its historic North American, Euro-American “center” to the critical questions being raised by Mormons living at the movement’s cultural and geographic margins.

As a social institution, Mormonism is shaped around cultural notions, systems, and ideas that have currency in the United States but make less sense beyond the land of its genesis. Even as an avowedly international religion some 183 years out from its inception, it makes few allowances for diverse international contexts, with Salt Lake City prescribing programs, policies, curricula, leadership, and edicts for the church’s international regions. While Mormonism’s greatest strength is its organizational coherence, there is also a cost paid for those at the church’s peripheries.
 
Decolonizing Mormonism brings together the work of 15 scholars from around the globe who critically reflect on global Mormon experiences and American-Mormon cultural imperialism. Indigenous, minority, and Global South Mormons ask in unison: what is the relationship between Mormonism and imperialism and where must the Mormon movement go in order to achieve its long-cherished dream of equality for all in Zion? Their stories are both heartbreaking and heartening and provide a rich resource for thinking about the future of Mormon missiology and the possibilities inherent in the work of Mormon contextual theology.
10
When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.

Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality.

For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.

Alex is not alone; the headlines continue to splash stories about gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers that promise to “save” teenagers from their sexuality. Saving Alex is a courageous memoir that tells Alex’s story in the hopes that it will bring awareness and justice to this important issue. A bold, inspiring story of one girl’s fight for freedom, acceptance, and truth.