Times and Seasons has opened voting for the 2011 Mormon of the Year. Such contests are always to a degree exercises in silliness, however, I want to argue for one of the people that I nominated. (I also nominated Matt Bowman, I hope he forgives me)
Joanna Brooks is Associate Professor and Department Chair of English at San Diego State University.
While Joanna has long been a familiar figure to the Bloggernacle, during 2011 she became the leading Mormon public intellectual on Mormonism. She has primarily done this through her regular columns at Religious Dispatches. However, Joanna has also become the voice of Mormonism on Public Radio with appearances on Talk of The Nation, All Things Considered, and On Being.
There have been others as well who have broken into this Mormon public intellectual realm. Of particular note, Matt Bowman’s essays in The New Republic have stood out to me. If anything, I have loved seeing Mormon scholars discussing Mormonism in my favorite venues such as NPR and TNR.
While I disagree with Joanna on many things, in particular her approach to Open Mormonism, she has become the intellectual face of liberalism Mormonism. For that, I must give her credit. I hope to follow her lead.
I am not quite sure if this is really “The Mormon Moment” or not. However 2011 was surely the @askmormongirl moment.