Friday, June 20, 2008

A Little Sunstone Treat This Summer

I was asked to be a respondent for the following Sunstone symposium session this August:

Is a Rameumptum Just a Rameumptom? A Freudian Approach to The Sugar Beet

Mathew N. Schmalz, Ph.D., director of the honors program and associate professor of religious studies, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts; author of a recent cover story on the diversity of Mormonism and the Sunstone Symposium for the Catholic magazine Commonweal

Latter-day Saints are conventionally and stereotypically portrayed as inhabiting a G-rated culture that valorizes domesticity, obedience, and chastity. It is for this reason, and the fact that many Mormons enthusiastically embrace the stereotypes, that the humor of The Sugar Beet is particularly interesting. In its treatment of issues concerning sexuality, gender, and authority, The Sugar Beet has opened or at least laid bare, another level of Mormon culture that is much more complex than that assumed in the stereotypes. But what makes Mormon humor, humorous? To explore this question, I turn to the work of Sigmund Freud who argues that jokes have two primary functions: aggression and exposure. In analyzing several jokes from The Sugar Beet, I will probe whether Freud’s framework helps us to understand the underlying dynamics of Mormon humor. The presentation will be interactive, with audience members being invited at times to reflect upon what is (and is not) humorous about a particular joke.
Sounds fun!


Anonymous said...

The comment you left on Emily Pearson's blog just reinforces the stereotype that Utah is Gay Hater Central and that Mormons really are as white bread, homophobic, and bizarre as most people believe. What an ass hole. How does it make you feel to know that you share your attitudes about homosexuality with the Nazis, modern skin heads, the Klan, radical Muslims, the Taliban and the Communist Regime of North Korea? You and these ultra conservative wack-job groups will be the unraveling of civilization- not people of the same sex who love each other. Oh gosh.. you must feel persecuted now.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see you address 'Dan's'' comment on Emily's blog.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous, easy tiger...

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey Chris,

I met you at the LDStorymakers conference this last March and spoke with you about doing reviews for Zarahemla for and then because my brain was mush, lost your contact information. Would you pop me a note at I also wanted to interview Coke Newell.

KT said...

Mr Bigelow:

You can contact me about other books for review via email:

gmbygrl [at] yahoo [dot] com

(stated that way in an attempt to foil spammers).

Thank you. I am excited to hear from you.