Zelophehad’s Daughters

Sunstone Program Parody

Posted by Kiskilili

I enjoyed this year’s Sunstone symposium immensely and have nothing but respect for Sunstone’s mission. In various ways the sessions amused or inspired me by turns, and I especially appreciated the opportunity to form off-line friendships with fellow bloggernaclerites. The seeming bizarreness of the topics of certain sessions is exactly what makes Sunstone welcoming to the likes of me, bizarro extraordinaire. So please accept this parody Sunstone program in the spirit of affection, for both Sunstone and the Church, in which it was intended. :)

Proposed Sunstone Program, 2009

A Practical Guide to Peepstones and Divining Rods. Tired of useless academic arcana on the application of magical accoutrements in Joseph Smith’s era? Come to this interactive session, watch live demonstrations of divination and levitation, and find out how to make your peepstone work for you!

Armpit Hair and the Gendered Dynamics of the BYU Honor Code. Recognizing that armpit hair is a secondary sex characteristic not dissimilar to facial hair, our panel explores the following pressing issue: should female BYU students be required to apply for armpit-hair cards before being allowed to cultivate a (well-groomed) thicket of hair in the underarm region? What about males?

Celestial Nudism: Fact or Fancy? Do heavenly denizens, who after all no longer have anything to hide in their state of Edenic bliss, waste time with fine-twined linens and those pesky social inequalities they reinforce? Or is running around au naturel a mark of the natural being God seeks to suppress–by donning a suit and tie, that everlasting signifier of all that is good and right?

Mothers Who Know Use Mother’s Little Helper. Mothers who know wear pantyhose while scrubbing the toilet. Mothers who know crochet their children’s diapers with thread carded from cotton they grew themselves. Mothers who know know the importance of relying on a Source outside themselves for emotional strength and stability.

The Stages of Crises of Faith. Never experienced that proverbial crisis in your belief system? Our experts in doubt and religious sabotage guarantee you’ll leave this session in crisis or your money back! (Watch next year for our follow-up workshop: Six Weeks to Religious Apostasy.)

Who Presides in a Lesbian Relationship? Forget the supposed threat to traditional marriage that same-sex unions are said to entail; let’s explore the more vexing doctrinal issue gay partnerships present: Can two gay men mutually preside over each other as equal partners? And should lesbian lovers continually defer authority in a spirit of mutual nurturance?

006: License to Be Offensive. Do your home or visiting teachees take umbrage at your strident and imperious efforts to dragoon them into heaven, or your well-meaning explications of their personal sins? Do your associates resist your overbearing endeavors to educate them about the Church’s shocking past, or your staging interventions to rescue them from Mormonism? We’ll provide tips on how to stand your ground and remind others that when they choose to take offense, they are at fault.

Perlocutionary Intent and the Hegemony of the Abstruse Hermeneutic of Scriptural Usufruct in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Rhesiological Analysis. If you think you understand this title, you’re delusional. Academic pundits of the most solemn caliber will mince linguistic gobbledy-gook in this cook-off for the pretentious. 

Machiavellian Schemes in the BYU Administration Exposed! Our scathing expose reveals the nefarious plots the Lord’s University has been surreptitious party to for decades! Come revel in the sordid truths behind the gleaming smiles and hairdos brushed to perfection!

God’s Family History: Applying Genealogical Injunctions on a Celestial Scale. Through diligent research and years of digging, our team of experts has uncovered God’s ancestors going back ten generations! With our help, you can finally fill out that celestial family tree.

When Good Feminist Go Bad (or, When Feminists Attack). Two award-winning journalists for Fox News report on data gathered using a series of hidden cameras to investigate what those hairy-legged neighbors are doing behind closed doors. Do feminists grow fangs and gnash teeth by the light of the moon? Recovering victims of rabid feminist attacks testify about close encounters with The Bra-Burning Beast.

Please join us following the final session for a Wine-Tasting Soiree on the Good Intentions Pavement adjoining the hotel.

24 Responses to “Sunstone Program Parody”

  1. 1.

    Where do I sign up?
    Thanks for the laugh. I really needed it today.

  2. 2.

    Sign me up!

    (I especially want to hear the academic pundits pontificate so I can collect the latest buzzwords for my dissertation.)

  3. 3.

    Kiskilili, very good! And your celestial nudism session actually made me think about it. I mean, I’ve always assumed we’ll be walking around in those loose fitting robes we see in the temple, but why? Isn’t that whole concern with nakedness a function of mortality, as the temple itself suggests? I never thought about it that way.

    You know it’s a good post when it’s an outrageously funny parody but it still succeeds in making a serious point!

  4. 4.

    Let me know how many of these end up on the program next year ;)

  5. 5.

    Same old, same old. Why can’t Sunstone come up with anything fresh and new for next year?

  6. 6.

    Kiskilli, this is simply delicious. Brava.

  7. 7.

    oops, sorry I misspelled your screen name. Anyway, it’s just wonderful. You must have had fun thinking these up and the funny thing is they’re just not that far off.

    Eve, take a gander through the American Studies Association or the MLA annual meeting conference session titles sometime. Plenty there you can use for your dissertation. “Hybridity” is my personal current fave. Don’t forget “liminal” and “postcolonial,” (or, if you prefer, poststructural), “transnational”… “Intertextuality”… good times.

  8. 8.


    So, who does preside in a lesbian relationship? (Wo)men who don’t know want to know.

  9. 9.

    jeans, those are all certainly fine candidates, but I’m thinking that “rhesiological” just might blow everything else out of the water.

  10. 10.

    Most excellent, Kiskilili. If it isn’t too late, I’d like to suggest an addition to the program.

    The Lion of Judah: Rastafarians as one Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. This session will explore the parallels between the Momon and Rasta traditions, including the idea that Joseph Smith was a type and shadow of Haile Selassie. Attendees will have the chance to sign a petition to church leadership requesting that dreadlocks be approved as a missionary hairstyle and that we bein taking seriously the part of section 89 that advises us to use the herb of the field.

  11. 11.

    Ahh, nothing like a good roast.

    Kiskilili, do you mind if I prep this for the magazine? This is too good to pass up.

    Send me your email so we can get this going.

  12. 12.

    BRILLIANT! I want them all for next year. :) And I’ll ask Spaff Sumison to do a lunchtime music session from his collection, “Parody Never Faileth.”

    Well done!

  13. 13.

    Major props to both Stephen and Mary Ellen for being such good sports. Thanks to both of you, for this as well as for everything else you do.

  14. 14.

    How about . . .

    Stupid Things I Did on my Mission
    In this session, men and only men will rave about absurd, insensitive, and politically incorrect incidents from their missions. The conclusion will be a completely unrelated rant about the god of the Old Testament as a homicidal maniac.

    Oh wait, that was this year.

  15. 15.

    jessawhy, it’s true that much of what happens at Sunstone is impossible to parody.

    Kiskilili, don’t forget the “Why we left” panel! And would these panels have Starstone sponsorship?

  16. 16.

    Fabulous! I agree, sign me up!

  17. 17.

    These are great, K. :)

  18. 18.

    Are you serious about the Wine-Tasting Soiree? Excuse my ignorance, but is everyone really going to get together and taste wine? Swish it around in the mouth and spit it out or drink it as well? Really????

  19. 19.

    Well, I was actually thinking rather than just tasting it we should glug it down, maybe play a little “Meistertrunk” and see who can drink the most wine in a single draught.

    No, really, the entire thing is a joke, a parody of a program but not a proposal for a real event. “Everyone” isn’t really going to get together and do anything except in my imagination. I’m playing off the fact that Sunstoners are stereotypically thought of as rank apostates who would willfully engage in behavior that would horrify their fellow Saints. The “Good Intentions Pavement” is an allusion to the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the implication being the wine-tasters are knowingly standing on the road to hell.

  20. 20.

    [...] meaningless but very erudite-sounding Mormon Studies globs of syntax. Kiskilili’s recent parody of a Sunstone program was a witty send-up of this mode of [...]

  21. 21.

    That is wonderful, I especially like the fact that it has Kevin thinking.

    Next in Dialogue: “Body Image in Heaven: Nude or just Naked?”

  22. 22.

    [...] ZD April Fools — “Renouncing the Philosophies of Women Mingled with Scripture” ZD Sunstone Program Parody Rebecca [...]

  23. 23.

    [...] ZD Sunstone Program Parody [...]

  24. 24.

    Haha. I found this from the Niblets’ site and I know I’m almost a year late but I just wanted to say good job.

    It’s hillarious!

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