Michael Scott Van Wagenen is an assistant professor and public history coordinator at Georgia Southern University. He previously taught borderlands history at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He is the author of The Texas Republic and the Mormon Kingdom of God (South Texas Regional Studies) (Texas A&M Press, 2002) and co-editor with W. Paul Reeve of Between Pulpit and Pew: The Supernatural World in Mormon Folklore (Utah State University Press, 2011). His latest book, Remembering the Forgotten War: The Enduring Legacies of the U.s.-mexican War (Public History in Historical Perspective) , was published in 2012 by the University of Massachusetts Press. Prior to earning his Ph.D. in U.S. History at the University of Utah he was a national award-winning documentary filmmaker. His films about the U.S. – Mexico Borderlands have twice won highest honors from the National Educational Media Network and have been screened at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History, and numerous film festivals.
In this interview Kirk and Michael discuss Mormon folklore and how it has changed between the 19th and 21st centuries. They tackle such issues as Bigfoot, UFOs, the War in Heaven, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.