Amish tech conference & call for papers – Plus my all-time favorite Amish invention

The Young Center at Elizabethtown College has announced a new conference on Amish Technology, to be held June 5-8, 2013.

They have also put out a call for papers, with a proposal submission deadline of October 1, 2012. From the description:

This international conference will highlight the challenges of new technology (Internet, telecommunications, production, manufacturing, household consumption, medicine, and leisure) for Amish communities in North America. Conference planners also welcome proposals from scholars and practitioners on other aspects of Amish life, as well as proposals related to non-Amish traditional groups of Anabaptist origin. Proposals for presentations as well as poster sessions are acceptable.

amish girls cell phoneThis is going to be an interesting event.

Amish operate under technological restrictions, but have proven quite innovative within those bounds.

At the same time “out of bounds” and grey-area technologies have presented new challenges which have threatened their identity and way of life.

If you have an idea for a paper, you’re encouraged to get in touch with the Young Center via Donald Kraybill.  Full details can be found here.

My all-time favorite Amish invention can be viewed here.

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    13 Comments

    1. Char

      Erik, will you be submitting a paper?

      1. Hmmm

        Good question Char, I had just been giving that a little thought. Maybe I should write a treatise on the development of the Amish light switch!

        (see my link in the post if you don’t know what an Amish light switch is 😉 )

        1. tiffany rangier

          stay plain

          It is a cyber world a sign of the sign of the times,but i dont approve of it and i aint even amish

    2. Conference

      That does sound really interesting. I look forward to reading about it on your blog. Will the conference be available online?

      1. tiffany rangier

        the blogs

        could you explain to me how we should survive and stick together in these times with all this paparozti and this new society,because even in the 80s and 90s i was behind.(i dont agree with how much people depend on material items and knowledge of cyber)

      2. Good question Margie. I imagine at least some of the papers will be available in some form.

    3. Roberta

      Conference on Amish Technology reminded me of those “thin book” jokes.

    4. Dody Bush

      My friends compare me to the Amish quite a bit. Still don’t they have cell phones, which means they **could** access the internet? May be it’s only for business.

      1. Amish and mobile internet

        Hi Dody, good question, it can be grey area. You’ll find an answer here: https://amishamerica.com/do-the-amish-use-computers-and-the-internet/

      2. tiffany rangier

        ?

        was you talking to me dody?

    5. Al in Ky.

      nge

      I agree that this should be an interesting conference. I wonder
      if someone at the conference will address the rate of increase in use of technology among Old Order Amish groups in large communities such as Lagrange Co., Indiana as compared to the rate of change in small communities such as Paoli, Indiana or Riceville, Iowa. I visited the Lagrange Co. area a couple of weeks ago and was suprised to see increases in use of technology in Amish stores in the area. For example, I went to E & S Bulk Foods, and they are now using a loudspeaker system in the store with announcements such as “Second checker to lane 2, third bagger to lane 3,” and “Customers, the store will close in five minutes. Please bring all purchases to the checkout now.” For a minute, I thought I was in Walmart or K-Mart!

    6. Use of electric

      I was in Jamesport, MO a few years back. As I recall fans were power by air; my questions is,” Is solar electrical power classified the same a electric from a transmission line?” Thanks !

      1. Solar power vs. public electricity

        Og in terms of it being permitted, some groups do allow it, and it is not really seen as the same category as being hooked up to the full-power grid. This article might shed some more light:

        https://amishamerica.com/do-amish-use-electricity/