The Amish in American Popular Culture

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Age Group:

Adults , Teens

Program Description


The Amish make frequent appearances in the mass media. A short list would include the 1985 film "Witness," starring Harrison Ford, the 1996 parody song "Amish Paradise" by Weird Al Yankovic, and TV shows such as Amish in the City and World's Squarest Teenagers. The Amish also appear randomly in episodes of TV shows such as Family Guy, Murder She Wrote, and many others. Why are these people, who only want to be left alone, such good subjects for parody and humor? An antidote to stereotypes and mistaken beliefs about the Amish is accurate historical and theological information. Dr. Steven Reschly, professor of history at Truman State University, will discuss Amish history and beliefs, explaining their descent from the Anabaptist movement of 16th-century central Europe and their subsequent experiences of persecution, migration, encounters with governments and laws, and much more. He has researched and written widely about the Amish.