The annual Sunstone Symposium is upon us once again. We would love to have as many readers join us for the presentations, the lunch, and the discussions that will take place.
We have several Exponent II perma bloggers and members of the board taking part this year. I’ve listed the schedule for their panels below. If you want to see the entire program or read more in-depth abstracts, click here.
AROUND THE TABLE: INCREASING UNITY AND COMMUNITY AMONG MORMON WOMEN
MORMONISM, DESIRE, AND POPULAR ROMANCE: CONSTRUCTIONS OF GENDER, RELATIONSHIPS, AND POWER
Romantic fiction comprises 25% of books sold in the U.S.; its readers represent a diverse group. Popularity notwithstanding, the genre is regularly challenged as trashy and prurient and for reinforcing the limitations of traditional gender roles. This panel will examine what the themes, trends, and traits of the genre and its readership help reveal about Mormons and their culture: What connections exist between female desire and Mormon women claiming priesthood and voice? How do romance characters and plots provide insight into both male and female Mormon gender roles? Why do Mormon women consume these “soft porn” works of fiction?
Thursday 4:30-6:00 pm
EMBODYING GENDER: HOW MORMON MATERIAL CULTURE REFLECTS AND SHAPES GENDER PERCEPTIONS
Mormonism defines both gender and embodiment as fundamental. Beliefs about gender are embodied in the physical objects, resources, spaces, and structures which Mormons create and use to carry out the work and life of the Church. Mormon material culture not only reflects gender beliefs but also influences the ways in which gender is perceived. This panel will explore the many ways in which gender shapes and is shaped by the Church’s material culture. We will look at the relationship of gender to Mormon images and objects, food, meetings, social relationships and activities, funerals, and the temple.
Friday 4:00-6:30 pm
THE MORMON SEX-ED PROJECT: CREATING A GOSPEL-BASED RESOURCE FOR HEALTHY SEXUALITY
According to Elder Larry R. Lawrence, “What the world really needs is courageous parenting from mothers and fathers who are not agraid to speak up and take a stand.” This panel seeks to engage voices on the topics of sexual identity, fulfillment, and education from a gospel perspective. Our goal is to create a comprehensive resource to aid courageous parents in teaching children about sexual issues in an honest, positive, harmonious manner. We welcome parents and non-parents alike for a give-and-take audience discussion of how to raise Mormon youth with a healthy concept of their sexual selves.
SOMETHING WIKI THIS WAY COMES: AN ANALYSIS OF THE MORMON CONTENT ON WIKIPEDIA
Wikipedia is a web-based encyclopedia project offering free access to more than 18 million articles in a variety of languages written and edited collaboratively by volunteers world-wide. With 365 million readers, it is arguably the largest and most popular internet reference site. Perhaps its most significant feature is that new entries can be added and/or edited by nearly anyone willing to follow its guidelines. This panel will analyze the breadth, accuracy, balance, and authorship of the Mormon content on Wikipedia as well as suggest topics for entries yet unwritten.