Topics ranging from the use of technology in the Amish culture to the allure of Amish romance novels will be part of the Amish America: Plain Technology in a Cyber World, an international conference hosted by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. The conference will be held June 6 to 8, 2013 in Elizabethtown and will include several tours of the Amish community in Lancaster County, Pa.
This international conference will highlight the challenges and impact of recent technology (the Internet, social media, and telecommunications, for example) on manufacturing, family life, consumption, medicine, and leisure for Amish and other Plain communities in North America. In addition, conference presentations and seminars will cover many other aspects of Amish life including health care, mental health, social services, agriculture, business, history, quilts, and Amish-themed fiction.
The conference will include more than 100 presentations in a variety of formats—plenary lectures, academic papers, panel discussions, seminars, and poster sessions.
Special features: pre-conference field trips, two new book releases, seminars by the producer of the PBS film The Amish and by the federal prosecutor in the recent beard-cutting case in Ohio, traditional Amish singing, and discussion with an Amish author of romance fiction.
Plenary addresses are:
- “What the Amish Can Teach (and Learn From) Nerds and Geeks” by Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Wired and widely read writer on the nature and impact of technology,
- “A Tale of Two Kitchens: Gender and Technology in Amish Communities” by Karen Johnson-Weiner, professor of anthropology at SUNY Potsdam,
- “Thrill of the Chaste: The Secret Life of an Amish Romance Novel” by Valerie Weaver-Zercher, writer and editor, and
- “Amish Participation in Medical Research: A Partnership of Trust and Mutual Benefit” by Alan Shuldiner, founder and director of the Amish Research Clinic.
More than 100 scholars and service providers from the United States and a dozen other countries will speak at the conference.
For more information, see Amish America: Plain Technology in a Cyber World.