Ben Park, an associate editor of the newly envisaged Mormon Studies Review, has forwarded a call for papers: “The Book of Mormon: Americanist Approaches.” The call is “seeking essays that engage with The Book of Mormon as a work of literature and situate it within the context of Americanist literary studies.” It also wants to “resist the urge to simply historicize the book’s importance away or address its claims to sacred status.” (It is extraordinarily unclear how one can “historicize the [Book of Mormon's] importance away.” What does that even mean?) This type of approach undoubtedly represents another indication of the future direction of the Maxwell Institute, and its clear severing of ties to classic FARMS scholarship.
[Note: When I first posted this notice, I thought it reflected Ben's views, even though he was not personally issuing the call for papers. There is still no indication that it doesn't reflect his views. He can perhaps let us know if it doesn't. However, for clarity, I have modified the original text slightly to distance it from Ben.]