Cory Anderson


Citation network analysis; Main path analysis; Reference-network graph; VOSViewer; Donald Kraybill; John Hostetler; Steven Nolt; Gertrude Enders Huntington; Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies; Walter Kollmorgen; Annotated bibliography; Bibliometric analysis


After 75 years, Amish studies has received no field reviews, an oversight I rectify with this article using several citation analysis techniques. I offer criteria for defining Amish research, which results in 983 references that are analyzed. Amish studies has a very highly centralized core of works; the top one percent of cited references account for nearly 20% of every citation in Amish studies, with Hostetler, Kraybill, Nolt, and Huntington dominating the top list. Few consolidated subareas exist, exceptions being language and health- population research. Analyzing Amish studies chronologically, the field early on accepted the definitive-sympathetic-authoritative-comprehensive-insider research approach, which legitimated “The Throne” (so-called) in Amish studies, i.e., a central scholar, a few close to him, and the irrelevant hinterlands. The seat was first occupied by Hostetler, then Kraybill. The absence of driving research questions, theory developments, and debates creates place for The Throne, whom scholars often cite to legitimize a given study emerging from an otherwise fragmented field. Other troubles with The Throne model are also presented. My call to Amish studies is (1) to develop honed research questions that address specific sub-areas and to consider how any given reference fits into the literature, and (2) to distance our empirical work from fence-straddling popular/scholarly models, e.g. rejecting “the Amish” as a brand name, approaching the Amish as purely scholars and not partially tourists, and foregoing a protective- or reformist-mentality toward the Amish.


I am extremely grateful to the Ohio State University-Main Campus Interlibrary Loan staff, who fielded hundreds of requests, as well as the OSU-Wooster and Truman State University Interlibrary Loan staffs. I am also grateful for the help of TSU student research assistant Emma Worley, who worked with the reference database for about 60 hours during the spring 2017 semester.



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