David Conley Nelson
Historian and Author: Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany
David Conley Nelson received his Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M University in 2012. He earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism from the University of Oregon and French from the University of Houston. He served six years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. In graduate school, David studied Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and then began investigating the relationship between small religious denominations and totalitarian governments. His secondary research interest, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), combined with his curiosity about collective memory, that is, how groups and even whole societies choose to remember their past. That prompted a presentation at the year 2000 session of the Mormon History Association, which won the Juanita Brooks award for the best graduate student paper. A doctoral dissertation followed more than a decade later, and subsequently a contract to publish Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany, from the University of Oklahoma Press in the spring of 2015. A retired airline pilot with 36 years of service, Dave now works as an assistant sports information director at the University of Texas. He lives in College Station, Texas with his wife Ruth, his daughter Megan, and his dog Spazz.