47th Annual Conference

Back to the Burned-Over District 200 Years Later, 1819-2019: Impact of the Second Great Awakening on the Restoration Movements

The 2019 conference will be held September 26-29 in Fairport, New York, a cozy suburb of Rochester and only 20 minutes from historically significant Palmyra.

See what’s on this year’s draft agenda.

2019 Agenda at a Glance pdf

Registration Fees

  • Students $85
  • Members  $135
  • Non-Members $160

Guest Room Reservations:Woodcliff Hotel & Spa
Woodcliff  Hotel & Spa
$141 Single/Double until August 27
800-365-3065 or 585-381-4000
Ask for the John Whitmer Historical Association Block – Conference attendees qualify for a 15% discount on golf and spa services.

Woodcliff Hotel & Spa Transportation
Pre -arranged complimentary van transportation is available to and from the airport, bus and train stations between the hours of 6:00 AM and 11:00 PM Monday through Friday and 7:00 AM and 11:00 PM Saturday and Sunday. Advance reservations are required by calling the bell stand, 585-248-4806. Please have your flight information available. Hotel shuttles take guests to the airport at the top of the hour (1pm, 2pm, 3pm, etc) and picks up guests at the bottom of the hour (i.e., 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm).


The Awards Committees are proud to announce the 2019 nominees:
Book Nominees
Article Nominees


During the conference, join us for Saturday afternoon tours as we visit scenic western New York, home of the Burned Over District.

An Expanded Trivia Night Returns to the JWHA Conference!

Get ready this year for dinner, entertainment, a 50/50 raffle ticket, and great fun!  Due to the popular response on last year’s after-conference survey, we are bringing back Trivia Night to our Rochester (Fairport) conference.

Included in the $19.50 Trivia Night registration fee, you will receive:

  • One 50/50 raffle ticket.  The winner will receive 50% of the ticket sales.  (If we sell $600.00 in tickets, you receive $300.00!)
  • Additional tickets for a donation of $5.00 each will be on sale to support our conference scholarships.
  • Light dinner.
  • An evening of friendly Restoration History competition and “don’t miss” entertainment!

Richard P. Howard Lecture

Ann TavesDiscerning God’s Presence: Experiential Claims and Restorationist Movements in the Burned-Over District

This talk will review the more recent literature on the “Burned-Over District” to consider experiential aspects of the Restorationist movements as they were influenced by Methodism and Cane Ridge in upstate New York and northern Ohio. Diary entries written by a Methodist preacher assigned to the Bloomfield circuit (just south of Rochester) will be used to open a window on the local Methodist revivals in 1820.

Ann Taves is a distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is author of numerous books and articles, including “Fits, Trances, and Visions” (Princeton, 1999) and “Religious Experience Reconsidered” (Princeton, 2009).

Her most recent book, “Revelatory Events” (Princeton, 2016), compares the emergence of three new spiritual paths (Mormonism, Alcoholics Anonymous, and A Course in Miracles) and develops new methods for analyzing accounts of unusual experiences such as Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

Taves is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011), a past president of the American Academy of Religion (2010), and deputy general secretary of the International Association for the History of Religions (2015-2020).

Help support the JWHA Auctions!   2019 Online Auction Open


Most conference attendees enjoy the silent auction JWHA hosts during its annual conference.

To make the event successful, however, items donated items are needed for the auction tables.

JWHA encourages each person attending the conference to bring at least one item for the auction. Books are popular, but new and unique items greatly help add interest and increase participation. And consider donating a service, such as a private tour or special research hours at your institution. Thank you! Donate today.

Completion of the linked form helps us prepare the auction in advance. As the conference draws near, you will receive an e-mail with additional information and instructions for delivery of your donation. Donate to the silent auction.