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Wards and Sovereigns

Wards and Sovereigns

Deviance and Dominion in the Biopolitics of Secularism

Chapter:
(p.171) 5 Wards and Sovereigns
Source:
Make Yourselves Gods
Author(s):
Peter Coviello
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226474472.003.0006

This chapter considers both the racializing delegitimation of the deviant (because polygamous) Mormons that followed them from the first, as well as the Mormons’ mixed responses to these assaults. It traces a pattern of escalating identification with the racial state as a strategy of self-legitimating distinction: an effort to secure for the increasingly reviled Mormons a place at the table of an American settler-colonial empire by fitting themselves to a sort of hypernormativity, one expressed largely in solidifying and expanding commitments to rigid hierarchies in gender and in race.

Keywords:   Brigham Young, The Utah War, The Manifesto, polygamy, John Gunnison, Mormon feminism, race

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