UU Studies Network Announcement


The Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society and the Unitarian Universalist Collegium are coming together to form the Unitarian Universalist Studies Network. We are a mutually supportive collective of academic and independent scholars, lay leaders, religious professionals, and students who aim to cultivate deeper engagement with Unitarian Universalist historical, theological, and ethical knowledge and practices as well as their intersections and interplay.

We hope you will join us! Because we are a new organization, our website is still under construction. Please keep reading for an overview of our General Assembly events and ongoing programs. Even more information is available on the UUHHS website, Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society.

We hope you will choose to join the UU Studies Network during General Assembly. Because the merger is still in process, we ask that you do so by joining UUHHS. Annual membership is just $50 for one year or $125 for three years; students and low income persons pay $30 per year. Follow this link to our Membership page.

Conrad Wright Lecture

When:  4:00 – 5:00 pm CDT (See General Assembly agenda)

Dr. Judith Weidenfeld

Dr. Judith Weidenfeld 

The 2021 Conrad Wright Lecturer is the award-winning historian Dr. Judith Weisenfeld, the Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Drawing from her current research, Dr. Weisenfeld’s lecture “Race, African American Religion, and American Psychiatry” explores how early American psychiatry emerged within the racialized landscape of religion in the United States and considers how ideas about race, religion, and mental normalcy shaped African Americans’ possibilities for community formation and spiritual healing in the aftermath of slavery. More details for the lecture will be forthcoming.

In an interview with Princeton University’s Discovery Magazine: Research at Princeton University, Dr. Weisenfeld described her work “tracing the stories of African Americans declared insane over the century following Emancipation,” following “the rise in psychiatry as a field of science and the parallel ascent of the discipline’s racialized theories about African Americans, theories that helped fuel continued subjugation after the end of slavery.” Her research shows how “racialized theories persisted among influential white psychiatrists well into the 20th century.”

Dr. Weisenfeld is the author of several books including New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration (Winner of the 2017 Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions), Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American Film, 1929–1949, and African American Women and Christian Activism: New York’s Black YWCA, 1905-1945. She is an editor of the journal Religion & American Culture and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Africana Religions and American Religion. Dr. Weisenfeld is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians.

UUHHS continues its commitment to excellence in history and honoring the legacy of Conrad Wright by inviting leading and promising new scholars to give Lecture each year. Past lecturers include Christopher Cameron (University of North Carolina), Sylvester Johnson (Virginia Tech), Tisa Wenger (Yale University), and Kathryn Gin Lum (Stanford University), among others.


Fighting for the Higher Law: Black and White Transcendentalists Against Slavery

An interview with author Peter Wirzbicki, with Prof. Chris Cameron and UUHHS President Rev. John Buehrens. Video Link., 24 minutes.

Manifest Destiny and Imperialism: the UU Involvement

An interview with Rev. Fred Muir, Interim Director, UU Partner Church Council – interviewer will be Rev. Patrice Curtis. Video Link, 28 minutes.

Live Q & A on UU Studies Network Programs

Want to learn more about the programs of the UU Studies Network? On Friday, June 25, at 3:30-4:00 pm CDT, we will hold a LIVE session featuring Kathy Parker, editor of the Journal of UU History, Rev. Connie Simon, editor of the Dictionary of UU Biography, and Cassie Montenegro, coordinator of the Circle of UU Congregational Historians. Studies Network secretary Dan McKanan will moderate. All of us are eager to answer your questions! The zoom link ishttps://harvard.zoom.us/j/91519782419?pwd=b3BWTXNmRlY4M0I5WCswVkFKcjFaUT09

Existing Programs

  • Journal of Unitarian Universalist History. The Journal of Unitarian Universalist History has been published annually by the Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society for decades, and will continue under the UU Studies Network. The Journal seeks to preserve and celebrate original scholarship that relates to any aspect of the history of the Unitarian Universalist religious traditions, or related liberal religion. A journal subscription is included with your membership!
  • Dictionay of Unitarian & Universalist Biography. The Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, known as the DUUB, is a public web resource that contains hundreds of concise biographies of Unitarian and Universalist leaders and celebrated individuals whose religion was Unitarian, Universalist, or Unitarian Universalist.
  • Conrad Wright Lecture. Our annual lecture, ordinarily held at General Assembly, is named in honor of renowned Unitarian Universalist historian Conrad Wright, who was a stalwart member of both Collegium and the Unitarian Universalist History Society. 
  • Congregational History Project. The UUHHS has worked for many years to support congregational historians and collect information about congregational archives as well as published and online histories of specific congregations. The UU Studies Network will include a mutually supportive Circle of Congregational Historians to continue this work. If you are one of the major people responsible for preserving your congregation’s history, we want you to join the circle! Please contact Cassie Montenegro at cmontenegro@nullhds.harvard.edu for more information.
  • UU History Discussion. This electronic Listserv discussion group allows scholars, students and those wishing to know more about UU history to engage with others in conversations about UU history, ideas, and contemporary issues.
  • Newsletter and Online Annoucements. Our electronic newsletter allows you to stay up-to-date on the events and announcements. 

Learn More About the UU Studies Network

Complete the form below if you would like to learn more about the UU Studies Network.

Become a Member

  • We welcome all who are interested in the history of liberal religion. You can find more information in our UUHHS brochure.
  • See a list of Membership Benefits below
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