The Civil War, religions born in America, musical satire: just another week at Providence.

During the second week of November, students visited the Huntington Library down the street from the Providence campus. The library’s featured exhibit was on the Civil War, corresponding with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1. The students’ visit came on the heels of a lecture at the Huntington from Drew Galpin Faust, American historian and president of Harvard University. She recently made a documentary with Ric Burns about the tremendous death toll during the Civil War, an aspect covered in one of the displays at the Huntington.

Another exhibit featured primary documents from the Civil War.

“It was interesting to look at the handwritten letters and the pamphlets from abolitionists from that time,” senior Jacob Fisher said.

That same week, students visited a Mormon temple in Los Angeles. Dr. Scott Swanson and Dr. Russ Reeves lectured on the history and establishment of Mormonism the day before the students visited west Los Angeles and Hollywood where the students saw The Book of Mormon, a satirical musical about two Mormon missionaries in Uganda. Since Mormonism found one of its permanent  homes in the American West, learning about it further filled out students’ knowledge and understanding of southern California.

“Both parts of the study on Mormonism broke stereotypes our culture has about it,” senior Krista Redman said. “The visit to the Mormon temple put us in touch with a Mormon elder. It was clear that the creators of the musical had done their research, even though it was satirical.”