Juanita Pulsipher Brooks is one of southern Utah’s most well-known cultural and academic contributors. Born in Bunkerville, Nevada, in 1898, Brooks taught English and served as the Dean of Women at Dixie College, her Alma Mater, from 1925-1933. After early retirement, she published one of the most important works of Latter-day Saint history, The Mountain Meadows Massacre (University of Oklahoma Press), which contextualized and unearthed new first-person accounts of the 1857 tragedy. In 2022, the Washington County Historical Society honored Brooks with a bronze statue to commemorate her impact. Her commitment to education and history earned her many awards and honors in life and death, including three honorary doctorates from Utah institutions.
Brook’s work had far-reaching effects on Mormon history and led to significant changes to research on Utah history and how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints approaches history. Brooks’ life and scholarship exemplify the importance of studying local and family histories and demonstrates how scholarship can transform communities for the better.
Utah Tech will host a Utah history conference this year highlighting Brooks’ legacy and building on her scholarship. Many guilds and organizations honor Juanita Brooks, but there is no better place to showcase her legacy than the place she loved most and called home: southern Utah.
The conference will take place from March 23-25. On March 23, the Juanita Brooks Lecture Series (cosponsored by the Utah Tech Library and the O.C. Tanner Foundation) will host Elder Steven E. Snow, Emeritus General Authority and Historian for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the St. George Tabernacle. His talk, “Studying the Past to Effect a Better Present,” will begin at 7 p.m. The following day, Utah Tech will host a series of panels with scholars from across the Intermountain West starting at 8:30 a.m. Speakers include W. Paul Reeve, Barbara Jones Brown, Richard E. Turley, Jr., and more. On Saturday, the conference will host two tours of St. George and the Mountain Meadows Massacre site.
All events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you at this incredible event that honors the life of southern Utah’s historian. Any questions can be directed to Cristina Rosetti at [email protected].