Comments on Andrew’s recent Why are Ex-Mormons So Angry (and other questions)? Part II thread discuss a possible MSP presence at Sunstone 2012, and wonder when it will be.
It’s scheduled for July 25-28 at the Olpin Student Union Building of the University of Utah campus. After quite a few years of being held over the first weekend in August, it was changed to the last week of July, so as not to coincide with the Outdoor Retailers Convention, which sucks up almost all the available hotel rooms and parking spaces in Salt Lake City. Plus if you show up to 2012’s symposium a day or two early, you can enjoy all the Pioneer Day shindigs, and who wouldn’t be down with that?
The theme will be “Mormons and Mormonism as a Political Force,” and yes, I thought of it. That’s right: the person the bloggernacle thinks is single-handedly ruining Sunstone came up with the themes for both 2011 and 2012.
I knew there would be plenty of people who saw immediately the vast possibilities of this theme — after all, pretty much every panel ever presented at Sunstone could be shaped to fit and support i t– but I was surprised by the men (and they were invariably men – perhaps because women who go to Sunstone are already familiar with the whole “the personal is political” argument) who reacted with irritation at how “narrow” the topic was. So I wrote this to explain its broader application:
Think beyond senators, governors, and candidates for president. Ask yourself: how do Mormons deliberately try to shape the social fabric that covers us all? How do they cooperate among themselves and with others to get what they want? What is the political and social fallout when Mormons organize, canvass, and vote in order to make an entire state or country “choose the right”? How do Mormons exemplify the feminist adage that “the personal is political”? In short, how do Mormons exercise, submit to, challenge, and understand power? (And can you really be both Republican and a good Mormon?)
Check out page 46 of the 2011 final program for an awesome illustration of a power fist sporting a CTR ring. Wouldn’t it be cool to have that on a t-shirt with the slogan “It’s personal. It’s political. It’s Mormon. Its Sunstone 2012.”?
To be clear: sessions need not fit the theme to be accepted. There are always a few requisite panels on polygamy no matter what the theme is. But it’s sort of cool to have a conversation about a particular topic, and to see how Sunstone can help shape and expand the discourse happening about it.
No official call for proposals has been issued yet, which means there’s also no deadline, but it will probably be around April of 2012. Mary Ellen has a folder for early submissions, and you can send her something right now if you want — I already did.