The Amish and Their Neighbors; Departing Canada, encountering Latin America

Issue 2021, vol. 75

The Amish and Their Neighbors: A Multidisciplinary Conference will be held at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, June 2-4, 2022.

This international conference will highlight issues arising from interaction between Amish communities and wider society, including those in areas such as public health, government regulation, business and economic development, charitable work, land use and environmental issues, tourism, and civic involvement.

Conference planners welcome proposals from scholars and practitioners in disciplines such as social science, public policy, health care and human services; on other aspects of Amish life; or related to other traditional Anabaptist groups. Proposals for presentations or poster sessions are acceptable. Send a clear statement of topic, methods and significance (350 words or fewer) and a one-page résumé of the presenter by e-mail attachment to by Nov. 1, 2021. Screening committee decisions will be made by Dec. 15, 2021.

Departing Canada, encountering Latin America: Reflections on the centenary of Mennonite emigration from Canada to Mexico and Paraguay will be held at the University of Winnipeg (also livestreamed), hosted by the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies, Oct. 21-22, 2022.

The year 1922 marks the beginning of the largest group emigration in Canadian history when several thousand low-German speaking Mennonites from Manitoba and Saskatchewan began to establish their first colonies in northern Mexico. Their emigration was accompanied by plans for a major settlement of Mennonites in the contested Paraguayan Gran Chaco that would begin later that decade. Both were products of conflict with provincial authorities over English-language education but also reflected internal tensions over acculturation and technology use. Since these seminal migrations of the 1920s, internal growth and sub-migration has resulted in the establishment of low-German Mennonite communities throughout Mexico and Paraguay as well as in Belize, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. The majority of the roughly 250,000 low-German speaking Mennonites now living in Latin America are descendants of that initial migration to post-revolutionary Mexico a century ago.

This centenary conference invites papers from a variety of disciplines that explore the development of Mennonite life on the Canadian prairies, the factors that drove emigration from Canada in 1922, the establishment and evolution of Mennonite communities in Mexico and Paraguay, and the subsequent migration of Mennonites from Mexico to other regions of Latin America. We also welcome submissions that offer comparative examples and/or situate low-German Mennonites within national and regional contexts.

Deadline for proposal submissions is Dec. 1, 2021. E-mail a 100-word proposal and short CV (or questions) to Ben Nobbs-Thiessen (Chair in Mennonite Studies, University of Winnipeg) at