Call for Papers for the 2011 August Sunstone Symposium

Click here to see a PDF version of the August Sunstone Symposium’s Call for Papers.

The Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium is an annual gathering of Latter-day Saints, scholars, and others interested in the diversity and richness of Mormon thought and experience and who enjoy pondering the past, present, and future of Mormon Studies.

The Sunstone Symposium is based upon the principles of an open forum; we believe that the community of Saints is best served by free and frank exploration and discussion. Sunstone welcomes proposals for this year’s event, expecting that all participants will approach every issue—no matter how difficult—with intelligence, respect, and good will.

FORMATS: Sessions may be scholarly papers, panel discussions, interviews, personal essays, sermons, dramatic performances, literary readings, debates, comedy routines, short films, art displays, or musical presentations.

TOPICS. We especially encourage proposals that focus on this year’s theme, MORMON ARTIFACTS and MATERIAL CULTURE. This in-depth exploration of things Mormons make to signify their faith, beliefs, history, and culture will examine a wide variety of creations: Mormon art, architecture, Mormon blogs and web sites, apps, books, comics, crafts, cookbooks, games, films, humor, LDS jewelry and apparel, magazines, message boards and online communities, statues and figurines, textiles, YouTube videos, and the near-ubiquitous resin grapes. We will also examine the role that parody, satire, and kitsch play in Mormon material culture.

What do these creations say about Mormonism or about the Mormons who have created them? We look at the myriad ways Mormonism finds expression in the material items Mormons create to identify themselves, express their faith, or show membership in or allegiance to their “tribe” (while others create items to signify their exit from the tribe).

We also welcome reflections on other topics and their intersection with Mormonism, as well as studies of historical and contemporary events and figures, news in the Mormon world, online communities, theological explorations, and Mormon cultural studies.

SUBMITTING PROPOSALS: In order to receive first-round consideration, proposals should be received on or before 1 May 2011.

Incomplete or late proposals will be considered on a time/space-available basis. Sessions will be accepted according to standards of excellence in scholarship, thought, and expression.


— Session title
— One-hundred-word abstract
— Names, brief bios or vitas, and contact information for all proposed presenters
— A list of any audio/visual equipment needs (or specify no AV needed)
— A brief summary of the topic’s relevance to Mormon studies
— If possible, please include a topic outline or draft

SUBMIT PROPOSALS TO: Symposium Director Mary Ellen Robertson or

To submit proposals by mail, please send to:
2011 Salt Lake Symposium
343 North Third West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103-1215