Special Feature

BYU Studies New Editor in Chief: Steven Harper

BYU Announces New Editor in Chief, Steven C. Harper

df-stevenharper.jpgAcademic Vice President James R. Rasband has named Professor Steven C. Harper as the next editor in chief of BYU Studies Quarterly, the University’s general academic journal. Harper is the fifth editor in chief since the journal was founded in 1959. The position was previously held by Professor John W. Welch, who has served as editor for 27 years. 

“For over a quarter of a century, Jack Welch has been the very embodiment of BYU Studies,” said Alan Harker, BYU’s Associate Academic Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. “He has always been dedicated to the proposition that BYU Studies should produce faithful, interesting, and accurate reading for the Saints. Jack has nurtured and shaped the journal and its attendant organization in very personal ways that far exceed the public-facing content of the journal.” 

BYU Studies is a leading scholarly journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles from all academic disciplines on groundbreaking research topics of general interest to Latter-day Saints. 

“Steve Harper is a worthy successor to all of those who have served as editor in chief of the BYU Studies quarterly,” Harker said. “He has the training, breadth of experience, and communication skills necessary to lead this interdisciplinary effort.” 

Harper will also return to the Department of Church History and Doctrine in Religious Education at BYU after working for six years in the Church History Department in Salt Lake City as a General Editor and the Managing Editor Historian for the eagerly anticipated Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. 

Harper previously taught religion courses at BYU-Hawaii, BYU-Provo, and the BYU Jerusalem Center. He’s also published four books and dozens of articles, and contributed to two volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers. Harper has served on editorial boards for the Church Historian’s Press and BYU Studies Quarterly. His forthcoming book from Oxford University Press examines how Joseph Smith’s first vision has been remembered over time. 

During this academic year, Harper and Welch will work together on a smooth transition. Welch will continue to serve as a member of the BYU Studies Advisory Board. The staff, which has years of experience, all remain as the journal continues its publishing activities.


About BYU Studies

BYU Studies will soon celebrate its 60th year of continuous publication. These publications reach a worldwide audience. All published articles, book reviews, and other content are free on the BYU Studies website, except for the most recent three years, which are free for print or digital subscribers.

This leading scholarly journal publishes peer-reviewed articles from all academic disciplines on groundbreaking research topics of general interest to Latter-day Saints and is open to all. We especially invite members of the BYU faculty to read and submit work to the journal. Click here for author guidelines.

Inexpensive subscriptions are available to everyone, for both the print and digital formats of the journal, or for the digital version alone. Subsidized subscriptions are available for full-time employees at BYU campuses and Church seminary and institute instructors and for fulltime college students.

All articles published in this journal are peer reviewed and evaluated by three editorial boards comprised of established BYU scholars from departments all around campus.

Recent issues have included articles by BYU professors Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Frederick G. Williams, Kent Jackson, Kenneth Alford, Alexander Baugh, and many others.

BYU Studies regularly publishes the speeches of the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecture, including those by Larry Howell, J. Michael Pinegar, and David B. Magleby. BYU Studies has pioneered the publication of newly found Mormon historical documents, such as Dean Jessee’s 1968 article collecting the accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. In almost every issue, readers will find interesting historical documents from many decades and all over the world. Each issue also includes Mormon poetry and personal essays, which are winners of our annual contests. Our website has instructions on submitting works to the poetry and personal essay contests.

BYU Studies also publishes scholarly books on LDS topics. Recent publications include Fred Woods’s Melting the Ice: A History of Latter-day Saints in Alaska, and the forthcoming biography of Martin Harris written by Susan Easton Black and Larry Porter.

BYU Studies is the publisher for Royal Skousen’s Book of Mormon Critical Text Project, including Grammatical Variation and Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, second edition. Skousen’s The Nature of the Original Language will be out in September and will be celebrated with a lecture by Skousen and Stanford Carmack on Tuesday, September 25.

Many book publications from BYU Studies and collections of articles by themes are available as ebooks and print-on-demand copies.

Every department on campus finds itself represented on the pages of BYU Studies, including articles about psychology, art history, scriptures, Joseph Smith daily chronology, economics, family sciences, and virtually all other corners of the university.

While many trajectories in modern academic life tend to require scholars to become more and more expert in the narrow fields of their specialties, BYU Studies stands firm with the importance of interdisciplinary scholarship and general studies that help all readers appreciate the work done by their colleagues in many diverse but valuable pursuits of academic inquiry.

Some fans of BYU Studies Quarterly have told us:

“I commend you for your work at BYU Studies and for its impact on this organization, on the university, on the Church, and on the world at large. I appreciate the many scholars who make BYU Studies a success. You have many things to do in your professional lives, and this is a very impressive group that lends its time to furthering the mission of BYU Studies, which really furthers the mission of BYU, which furthers the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

—Kevin J Worthen

“I have enjoyed BYU Studies for many years, and look forward to receiving the new editions in the future.”

—Ronald A. Rasband

“Thanks to you and your colleagues for this consistently wonderful work. I appreciate all you do and the tremendous influence you have for good.”

—Cecil O. Samuelson

“I express special appreciation for the latest issue of BYU Studies I thought its content was particularly outstanding, including the lead article by Noel Reynolds and the book reviews—all on important books on which I appreciate being informed.”

—Dallin H. Oaks

We congratulate Dr. Harper on this new position and look forward to his leadership in many successful years of publications by BYU Studies.