Last week Harvard University Press announced that Jared Farmer's book has won the Francis Parkman Prize. Well deserved indeed.
Jared Farmer has been honored with the Francis Parkman Prize by The Society of American Historians for his 2008 book On Zion's Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape, which details how Mormon settlers in Utah endowed their new homeland with a spiritual geography—how they made themselves "native" in a strange land—and how their effort to confer meaning on their new dwelling place came at the expense of the Utes they displaced, people whom, ironically enough, they considered their "spiritual kin." Farmer, Assistant Professor of History at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, shows how this pattern, this imbuing of the American landscape with "Indian" lore that hadn't existed until Euro-American settlers showed up, was repeated time and time again across the United States, and how the legacy of these cultural acts remains with us today.
In January 2009 Farmer's essay, "Displaced from Zion: Mormons and Indians in the 19th Century," appeared in Historically Speaking.
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