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Brenden Rensink

Associate Research Professor
History, History, Dean's Office

954 KMBL
Provo, UT 84602


Brenden W. Rensink (Ph.D., 2010) is Associate Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and an Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University. For 2020-2023 he is the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Young Scholar for the FHSS College at BYU.

His recent monograph, Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands (Connecting the Greater West Series, Texas A&M University Press, 2018), won the 2019 Spur Award for Best Historical Nonfiction Book from the Western Writers of America. His co-edited anthology, Essays on American Indian and Mormon History (University of Utah Press, 2019), won the 2019 Metcalfe Best Anthology Book Award from the John Whitmer Historical Association. In 2022, Rensink published the edited collection, The North American West in the Twenty-First Century (University of Nebraska Press, 2022). Rensink is also co-editor of Documents Vol. 4, and Documents Vol. 6 of the award-winning Joseph Smith Papers project (Church Historians Press, 2016, 2017), co-author of the Historical Dictionary of the American Frontier (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), and author multiple articles, book chapters, and reviews.

Rensink helps manage events, programming, awards, and research at the BYU Redd Center. He created and directs two ongoing public history initiatives for the Redd Center: serving as Project Manager and General Editor of the Intermountain Histories digital public history project and as Host and Producer of the Writing Westward Podcast. He is currently working on projects on transnational Indigenous histories and Western environmental history. Prof. Rensink can be found online at or

Honors and Awards

  • Marjorie Pay Hinckley Young Scholar, BYU College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences (2020 - 2023)
  • Karl G. Maeser Professional Faculty Excellence Award, Brigham Young University (2021 - 2021)
  • Metcalfe Best Anthology Book Award, John Whitmer Historical Association (2020 - 2020)
  • 2019 Spur Award for Best Historical Nonfiction Book, Western Writers of America (2019 - 2019)

Administrative Assignments

  • Charles Redd Center for Western Studies: Associate Director (2015 - Present)

Courses Taught


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