Karen M. Johnson-Weiner

Karen M. Johnson-Weiner is a Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology Emerita at SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam, NY, where she taught courses in linguistic anthropology. She received a B.A. in 1975 from Hope College (Holland, MI) and an M.A. from Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) in 1976. She earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) in 1984 and has been studying patterns of language use and cultural maintenance in Amish and Mennonite communities for over 30 years.

Her first book, Train up a Child: Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools, was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 2007, and her second, New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State, in 2010 by Cornell University Press, with a second edition appearing in 2017. With Donald B. Kraybill and Steven M. Nolt, she is the author of The Amish (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her most recent book, The Lives of Amish Women, was published in 2020 by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Johnson-Weiner has also authored a number of articles on Old Order language, culture, and education, including articles on the importance of the 1972 Supreme Court decision in Wisconsin v. Yoder et al. for Amish education in the 21st century (JAPAS 2015) and on Amish women and entrepreneurship (American Studies Journal 2017). Johnson-Weiner has twice been awarded a President’s Award for Research and Creative Endeavors (2004, 2011) and was awarded a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities (2005).

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About the site

Amish Studies is an academic website developed by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College to provide reliable information on Amish life and culture. Designed to assist scholars, students and the general public, the site was developed with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Amish population statistics are updated annually in the summer. Other information is updated periodically.

For more in-depth discussion about the Amish:
The Amish book cover

Authors: Donald Kraybill, Karen Johnson-Weiner, and Steven Nolt (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013; paperback, 2018)

Recent books

In partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Press, the Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies publishes innovative and creative scholarship. The latest volume in the series explores the roles and experiences of Amish women:
The Lives of Amish Women book cover
Author: Karen Johnson-Weiner (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020)