Student Research Projects

Our Mother Who Art in Heaven: The Memory of Ann Lee, Mother of the Shakers

Student Koren Robins
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department History


My paper focused on the memory of Shaker founder, Ann Lee. I sought to deconstruct how and why the Shakers formulated Lee's memory by choosing to emphasize specific aspects of her character. My research ultimately argued that the Shakers crafted Lee's memory based upon her role as charismatic leader, mother, and the wife of Christ, doing so in order to reconcile Lee as both a woman and religious authority in the nineteenth century. Based upon my findings, I concluded that the Shakers were unable to separate Lee's authority from her gender and in remembering her they viewed her as woman first, leader second.
My main research came from the Shaker Collection at the Library of Congress.


Phi Alpha Theta Virginia Regional History Conference, Feb 2009, Bridgewater, VA


Phi Alpha Theta Virginia Regional History Conference - Second Place, Undergraduate U.S. Presentations