2009 SLC Sunstone Preliminary Program

The Preliminary Program for the 2009 SLC Sunstone Symposium (12-15 August at the Sheraton) is up at the Sunstone website. I’m planning on attending. If any of you are on the fence, take a look at the program and see whether it might entice you over the line into attending.

Wednesday features workshops (these have a separate fee if you want to do any of these; I’ve never done one.) The symposium proper kicks off with a plenary lecture that evening (open to the public). Most of the action takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A few off the cuff notes:

134. Natural Childbirth: The Contemporary Mormon Women’s Natural Response: “No Way!” This wins the award for best session title.

142. At lunch time there will be a showing of Johnny Lingo, complete with feminist commentary(!)

The session after lunch will be a tough call for me. There is Ken Driggs comparing the 1953 and 2008 FLDS raids; Blair Hodges on C.S. Lewis: Crypto-Mormon?; and Jeff Needle on his Mormon experiences.

163 is a session on Study Aids for Bible Lovers. I agreed to be the respondent for this session; only later did I learn that the paper is being given by Jack Worlton, who is my uncle! Fortunately I doubt that I’ll have anything critical to say…

174 features a raft of FMHers on blogging and motherhood: Lisa, mfranti, Shelah and Janet.

Friday morning I have a board meeting so I’ll be missing some sessions.

That afternoon a bunch of editors of Mormon journals will be commisserating over their struggles (includes our Kristine).

I’m chairing session 275 on blogging. It’s a panel moderated by Carol Hamer, featuring Lisa, Jana Remy, BiV and mfranti.

332 is a session that comes out of a BCC post and is devoted to remembering the Longfellow Chapel.

371 is a panel on Twilight.

Those were just a few things that jumped out of at me. Lynette, Jana Riess, Darius and Margaret Young are among the many other names familiar to Naclers on the program.

I hope to see many of you there!


  1. re: 134: although it’s a great title, the author of the title has obviously not spent time around Mormon women of a childbearing age in New York. I don’t know about other regions, but a large percentage of the women I knew there either didn’t use drugs in childbirth or felt guilty (or at least conflicted) about using the drugs.

    I, as a man, would clearly fall on the pro-drugs side, where men the givers of birth. So maybe the title more accurately should read: “Natural Childbirth:The Contemporary Mormon Men’s Natural Response: No Way!” I doubt there’d be any disagreement on that.

  2. (Sorry–I left out the “Mormon.” Should be a large percentage of the Mormon women I knew there didn’t use drugs in childbirth, etc.)

  3. For lunch, as we see _Johnny Lingo_ , we will be eating eight cows.
    Please note that the number for reserving rooms at the Sheriton (1-866-627-8152) is INCORRECT. It should be 888, not 866.
    It’s always fun to see bloggers at the event. We should at least get some ice cream together.

  4. FYI a gathering for bloggers will be held in one of the conference rooms Friday evening at 10pm. (No food, that’s the only reason I didn’t call it a snacker!) You are all welcome, come and meet up with your favorite bloggers!

    Another session of note is “Possibilities in Mormon Feminism” on Friday afternoon, featuring Ziff, Kiskilili, Lynnette and Seraphine from Zelophehad’s Daughters. I say this even though they are scheduled concurrent to the FMH session and also to a panel I am involved in with George Smith’s book Nauvoo Polygamy. Drat! whoever was in charge of that particular scheduling certainly got it wrong!!

    Hope to see many of you at Sunstone!

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks BiV, I don’t know how I missed the ZD fest. I was scrolling back and forth to try to catch the double columns of the pdf on my screen, so I probably overscrolled one way or the other. Suffice it to say there will be lots of Bloggernacle representation there.

  6. BiV–the schedule is a preliminary one. I wonder if you might want to suggest a switch to Mary Ellen. Wouldn’t hurt. Many of us would like to support both ZD and FMH. (And I haven’t even looked to see if I’m obligated at that time…)

  7. Also, I feel completely ripped off that the bloggers’ get-together is on Friday evening. I have to be with my husband at his HS reunion (40 years) that night. I would have LOVED to be with all y’all.

  8. I have it on good authority that a scheduling switch (to prevent the conflict between the ZD and FMH panels) is currently in the works.

    I really, really wish I could be there. I’d especially like to meet more bloggers IRL; that’s undoubtedly the best part of blogging. But my husband and I are downshifting to life on one income after the birth of our daughter last year and my transformation, at the ripe old age of 37, into an SAHM, and a trip to Utah just isn’t feasible this summer, darn it. Maybe next year. Sigh.

    Can’t wait to hear all about it, though, so those of you who attend do remember your faraway friends in Bloggernacclerland and give us frequent reports!

  9. Oh, I am so envious of you all. I have wanted to go to a Sunstone conference for years and thought that this would finally be it. But, alas, our youngest daughter and husband and baby announced they will be here in Montana that weekend. For all my talk, kissing baby cheeks still takes priority, I’m afraid.
    I assume the sessions will be recorded and sold afterwards? Not the same as being there though. Have fun.

  10. 8 Phew. I have ulcers over the schedule as it is now. There is so much I want to go to. Does anyone have experience with using the on site childcare? Is anyone else bringing a child(ren) and want to look into hiring a teenager to babysit? Does anyone have a way to talk Eve into coming on the cheap? C’mon, Eve.

  11. CatherineWO, the sessions are recorded every year, and can be downloaded from the Sunstone website. You can go there now and get old sessions for various prices, including free.

    There’s also a session on Sonia Johnson, Saturday morning, that isn’t in the preliminary program. It’s been almost 30 years since she was excommunicated, so this session will be about her involvement with pro ERA stuff, some recollections from a woman who knew Sonia at the time, and then some discussion of how Sonia’s perceived now, and what, if any, effect she’s had on women in the church. And, if you said, “Sonia who?” you’re not alone. :)

  12. #10 I’m more tempted every day…!

  13. Sam B.,
    You are probably right about the region you are in. My doc is in UT now, but was in other states for the first 12 years of his practice. I don’t use drugs during childbirth and he says the numbers go something like this: Inside Utah, it’s about 85/15 drugs/no drugs; outside Utah it’s the exact opposite. He can’t figure it out….. I wonder what the variable could be? I’m going to the conference just to see this one!

  14. Elouise says:


    Thanks for the push over the line.

    I browsed the program; then went back and studied it, salivating unattractively; then turned the computer off and sat, seeing the names going by in my head like some , teasing, tantalizing marquee: Margaret Young–flash! flash! Lavina Anderson–flash! flash! Mary Bradford–flash! flash! Karen Lynn Davidson, Shirley Paxman, Boyd Petersen, Bill Bradshaw, Emma Lou Thayne, Paul and Margaret Toscano, Julie Nichols, names of much-loved friends and associates from years past.

    Then came all the names from the Bloggernacle, names I couldn’t put faces to, but whose wit, wisdom, and generosity have warmed me in years present.

    Threw caution to the sweeping Oklahoma winds, made reservations, and am now hyperventilating as well as salivating. As I said, Thanks, Kevin.

    P.S. If anyone starts passing the hat for Eve (who really SHOULD be comped from start to finish anyway), count me in.

  15. Kevin Barney says:

    Wonderful, Elouise!

  16. Kristine says:


    I’m also doing a reprise of last year’s hymn sing, with slightly different focus (Mary Ellen said I had to talk a little, we can’t sing the whole time). _Fiddlesticks_ cellist extraordinaire, Liz Davis Maxfield, and her excellent husband Andrew will accompany. It’s at 8:45 on Saturday morning.

  17. 14 I have 50 bucks with Eve’s name on it. Cuz I’m bringing my Z’s Daughters trading cards and I need the whole set…

  18. Kevin Barney says:

    I loved your hymn sing last year. Don’t talk *too* much this time around…

  19. I just had such a fun moment. I read that Elouise was coming to Sunstone and actually jumped in my chair. I don’t think I’ve done that since I was about four. First reaction: HOORAY!!!! Second reaction: Oh crap, now the pressure is on. I’ve got to say something worthwhile. Maybe I can just quote from her…

  20. Kevin–note that you’ve listed Darius and me as “Darius and Margaret Young.” He is Darius Gray. We get a bit sensitive about our last names, because sometimes people don’t realize that we are not married–to each other. Each of us has a spouse. Yesterday, when I was making a hotel reservation, the desk clerk said on the phone, “Hello, this is Gray.” I mis-heard it, and thought he said, “Hello, Mrs. Gray.” I said, “I’m NOT Mrs. Gray.”
    But I like the fact that you made him Mr. Young instead of making me Mrs. Gray.
    Or has Darius attained the kind of fame only Cher, Houdini, and Madonna know? The one-name man?

  21. Margaret, I’m pretty sure Kevin was referring to the one-name Darius, known to all in the Bloggernacle. I sure knew who he was talking about. But thanks for alerting us to this phenomenon, I’ll certainly be more careful about it from now on.

  22. Kevin Barney says:

    Ha ha, yes, Margaret, BiV is right, to me Darius only has one name, like Elvis.

  23. 20 Drats. If ya’ll see my letter to the SLC Trib “definitive proof that polygamy is alive and well in so-called “mainstreet” Mormonism, Darius Grey and his sister-wife, Margaret Young: Exposed!” Please ignore. My bad. I blame Kevin Barney.

  24. Margaret–Re Comment #19. You know, dear Margaret, ever since that show-stopping red head first appeared in my classroom, everything you’ve written has brought me pleasure and delight. But this recent comment. . . . well, you certainly know how to make an old girl’s heart glow.
    Thank you, and warmest wishes for Saturday afternoon, which seems, from the program, to be the designated Margaret Young Day (panels # 356, 362, 373; also conducting calesthentics in the corridor as time permits). P.S. I’ll see CWC’s ante and raise it 10.

  25. If I may, I would like to point out #356 in the program, come and see a short film, listen to great respondents, and participate in the discussion. It will be great! Come one and come all.

  26. I’m planning to be there as much as possible. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again, but please note that there will be no karaoke at the bloggernacle party.

  27. My husband and I are planning on being there on Saturday. We were hoping to spend Friday night in Salt Lake and that may still happen, so if we’re there we’ll go to the blogging thing on Friday night. If not, maybe we’ll see people Saturday.

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