Katie Geneva Cannon Digital Collection Update | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Katie Geneva Cannon Digital Collection Update

December 1, 2022
Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, circa 2000s. Pearl ID: islandora:171117

The Presbyterian Historical Society is excited to announce the completion of the second phase of an inter-institutional effort to publish the personal records of the founding voice of womanist theology, Katie Geneva Cannon. Researchers can now view the entirety of records from The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary (Columbia University Libraries) in the Katie G. Cannon Digital Collection.

"Remembering What We Never Knew: The Epistemology of Womanist Ethics" (Full version here.) | Sermon as Genre: Black Preaching as Process in the Work of Zora Neale Hurston (Full version here.)

The newly available records consist of over 6,000 pages of text ranging from 1955-2018. It includes work from her time as an elementary school student in Kannapolis, North Carolina, along with work Dr. Cannon created while pursuing her degrees from Barber-Scotia and Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary. Also available is the extensive work towards PhD in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, including her dissertation proposal, “Resources for a Constructive Ethic for Black Women in the Life and Work of Zora Neale Hurston.”

Church service programs for Presbyterian Church of the Ascension in New York City, circa 1976. Pearl ID: islandora:290677.

The collection also contains Katie Cannon’s sermons. Some, from her time at Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church in East Harlem, New York City.

"Hearing the Voice of the Most Marginalized in Theology Ethics: A Conversation with Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon" by Jennifer Wade. Found in Katie Cannon writings, circa 1983-2006.

Throughout her career, Dr. Cannon was an internationally known and respected leader in theology and Christian ethics. The collection includes various essays, articles, lectures, and other writings that cover various topics such as feminism, the African diaspora, literary ethics, and liberation theology. As a founding voice in womanist theology, much of her work centers the lives and texts of Black women like Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston. Katie Cannon’s impact on the pedagogical world was evidenced by the number of speaking engagements she delivered at universities and seminaries across the country, including Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, and Duke University. With this batch of Cannon’s papers now available online in Pearl Digital Collections, researchers can further immerse themselves in her formidable work.

Two of Katie Cannon's drawings, circa 1990s.

The newly added records from the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary (Columbia University Libraries) join the records from the Center for Womanist Leadership, Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Work is now underway for phase three of the Katie G. Cannon Digital Collection. For this final phase, PHS staff will digitize the records Cannon donated to the Society with the goal of having them available by Summer 2023.

The Katie Geneva Cannon Digital Collection is part of the Presbyterian Historical Society's African American Leaders and Congregations Collecting Initiative. Help us continue this work in 2023 by making a year-end donation to PHS. Click here to make your gift and select "African American Leaders and Congregations" in the donation menu.