Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
 

Katie G. Cannon papers, 1955 -- 2018

Summary Information

Abstract

Katie Geneva Cannon, the first African-American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church, was a minister, professor, and foundational voice of womanist theology. The collection contains professional and personal materials including coursework, biographical material, artwork, teaching resources including syllabi, writing and research materials including drafts and notes, sermons, lectures and documentation of speaking engagements, correspondence, and publicity materials.

At a Glance

Bib ID 15153874 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Cannon, Katie G.
Title Katie G. Cannon papers, 1955 -- 2018
Physical Description 2.75 linear feet (2 linear feet; 3 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Onsite storage.

Some materials may be closed during digitization in mid-2021.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in five series by content type: Coursework and personal material, Teaching resources, Writings, Speaking engagements, and Publicity and events.

Description

Scope and Contents

This collection contains professional and personal materials of Reverend Doctor Katie Geneva Cannon, the first African-American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church and a foundational voice of womanist theology. The collection includes Cannon's coursework and early personal and biographical material, including report cards, awards, papers, exams, and notes, as well as a CV, reunion materials and event programs, and doodles and other artwork created by Cannon. This collection also contains teaching resources, including syllabi and exams, student work, workshop materials, articles and readings, bibliographies, and notes; writings by Cannon, including published and draft forms of articles, chapters, and notes and correspondence related to her writings; lectures, addresses, sermons, and correspondence and publicity materials related to speaking engagements; as well as materials related to conferences Cannon attended, and magazines, clippings, and other publications compiled by Cannon, often including articles by or about her.  

  • Series I: Coursework and personal material, 1955 -- 2008

    This series contains coursework and other materials-- including report cards, awards, papers, exams, and notes-- from Cannon's years at Kannapolis (North Carolina) primary and high schools, Barber-Scotia College, Johnson C. Smith Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary. This series also contains biographical and personal material, including a CV, reunion materials and event programs, and doodles and other artwork created by Cannon.

  • Series II: Teaching resources, 1983 -- 2016

    This series contains syllabi and exams, student work samples, workshop descriptions and materials, correspondence, articles and readings, bibliographies, notes, and other teaching resources used and/or compiled by Cannon.

  • Series III: Writings, 1975 -- 2018

    This series contains published and draft forms of articles, chapters, and other writings by Cannon, as well as notes and correspondence related to her writings.

  • Series IV: Speaking engagements, circa 1970 -- 2018

    This series contains lectures, addresses, sermons, narrative text for bible studies, as well as correspondence and other materials related to speaking engagements. Materials are both typed and handwritten, often with slashes or other markers of speech rhythms, as well as notes and edits. Some folders contain multiple drafts or versions.

  • Series V: Publicity and events, circa 1970 -- 2018

    This series contains announcements and flyers as well as correspondence related to Cannon's speaking engagements and other events, materials related to conferences Cannon attended, and magazines, clippings, and other publications compiled by Cannon, often including articles by or about her.

Burke Library record group:

Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship (AWTS)

Using the Collection

Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Onsite storage.

Some materials may be closed during digitization in mid-2021.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.

Preferred Citation

Item description, Katie G. Cannon papers, 1955-2018, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Related Materials

Katie Geneva Cannon papers, Presbyterian Historical Society, 425 Lombard Street, Philadelphia PA 19147-1516 USA.

Katie Geneva Cannon Research Collection, Union Presbyterian Seminary, William Smith Morton Library, 3401 Brook Road Richmond, VA 23227.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of this collection was donated by Bridgett Cannon, Katie G. Cannon's niece, and received in August 2020, accession AWTS-2021-001. Earlier donations of material were received from Katie G. Cannon in 2014, accessions 2014-005 and 2014-009.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Processing Information

Materials were minimally processed: original folders with titles (provided by Cannon or her niece Bridgett Cannon) were kept when possible; some material was re-housed in acid-free folders, and all folders were placed in acid-free boxes. The finding aid, including a folder-level inventory and series-level descriptions, was created by Leah Edelman in 2021.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lectures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sermons Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
African American college teachers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cannon, Katie G. -- : Archives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Feminist theology Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Presbyterians -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theologians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Womanist theology -- History -- Sources Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women theologians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Katie Geneva Cannon, the first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church, was a minister, professor, and foundational voice of womanist theology. Cannon was born on January 3, 1950 in Kannapolis, North Carolina to Emanuelette Corine Lytle Cannon and Esau Cannon. She earned a BA from Barber-Scotia College in 1971 and an MDiv from the Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in 1974, and became the first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church, by the Catawba Presbytery, in 1974. Cannon was also the first African American woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Union Theological Seminary, in 1983. Cannon served on the faculties of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA (1984-1992) and Temple University (1992-2001), among others, before joining the faculty of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA in 2001. Cannon was the Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Union until her death in 2018. She founded the Center For Womanist Leadership at Union in 2018.

Cannon is the author of Black Womanist Ethics (1988); Katie's Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community (1995); and Teaching Preaching: Isaac Rufus Clark and Black Sacred Rhetoric (2002), and editor of Inheriting Our Mothers' Gardens: Feminist Theology in Third World Perspective (1988); Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader (2011); and The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology (2014), among other works. Cannon served as President of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and received numerous awards for her work, including Spelman College's Distinguished Professor Award, the Lucy Craft Laney Award at the Black Presbyterian Bicentennial Celebration, the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s General Assembly Excellence in Theological Education Award, the American Academy of Religion's Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Union Medal, the highest award of distinction presented by Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Cannon lectured widely on theological and ethical topics as a pioneering voice in womanist theology, which examines the intersection of feminism, racial identity, religion, and oppression, and centers and affirms the experience of Black women. Cannon died in Richmond, VA from acute leukemia on August 8, 2018 at age 68.