Kent’s latest reminded me that I have been meaning to do a cost of Mormon literary studies post for some time.
This post assumes three things, which I think are warranted for much of the AMV readership:
- You don’t have an academic budget to pay for some of these things.
- You actually want to own the works so that you can spend time with them and produce literary criticism/get deep knowledge of the field (which means relying heavily on the local library isn’t an option).
- You don’t live within commute distance of the Wasatch Front.
Irreantum Subscription/AML membership: $25
Dialogue E-Subscription: $25
Every Title That Zarahemla Books Published This Year: $50 (three titles at around $16 each*)
One Major Anthology (likely from Peculiar Pages): $25
One Other Major Mormon-Themed Work: $15
One Major Mormon-Themed Work of Nonfiction (People of Paradox, for example): $20
Subtotal = $140
* If you can go with e-editions of these then that drops to $10.
Segullah Subscription: $12
BYU Studies E-Subscription: $24
Sunstone Subscription: $45
Exponent II Subscription: $28
5 Novels Likely to Be Whitney Finalists/Winners: $80 (these could be Mormon-themed or not, but I think in order to really work in the field, you should be aware of at least, say, the Mistborn series or Shannon Hale’s latest work, etc. This number could, obviously, go much higher.)
Filling Out Your Library: $30 (three titles at around $10 each with things like Salvador or Benediction and other stories, etc. [unless you live near an awesome DI])
The Best American Short Stories: $15 (or a similar title so you have some comparison to what’s happening with the Mormon short story)
Total = $374
Total + AML Conference Attendance (flight/gas money + hotel/meals — assume very modest budget of $500 total): $874
Finally, of course, there’s the cost in time to read all that, synthesize it, and write about it. And if you go to a Sunstone conference or the Rocky Mountain MLA meeting, etc., your costs will rise fairly dramatically.