CFP: “Space, Place, and the Spirit of Material Culture” (due May 20, 2019)

for the Annual Conference of The Communal Studies Association
October 17 to 19, 2019
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Winterthur, Delaware

“Space, Place, and the Spirit of Material Culture”
The deadline for submission of proposals is May 20, 2019
Human creativity shapes and reshapes the material world in many ways. This year’s conference
theme is meant to underscore the role of material culture in intentional communities and its link
to the creation of objects and spaces within a community, the making of places where intentional
communities can be found, and the ideological, spiritual, and material values that are expressed in the objects and landscapes a community makes, owns, uses, or alters. We are looking for studies that focus on how belief and ideology writ broadly create, reflect, and reinforce material culture in intentional communities, and conversely how that material culture creates, influences,
promotes, or obstructs an ideology or way of life. How do communities design their own material
existence, even if their primary goals are spiritual? How do success and failure in the realm of the material affect the existence and success or failure of the communities themselves? How do
communities make room for individual creativity, especially in those instances where the practices are communal? In what ways do contemporary communities handle the material world for their economic survival without letting it compromise their values? Of course, we are also interested in proposals that concern any other topic about intentional communities. Please feel free to submit proposal on any aspect of communalism or intentional communities.

The 2019 conference will be held at the beautiful Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in
Delaware, and those attending the conference will have an opportunity to present their papers in
some of its wonderful venues and special spaces, attend workshops and tours exploring
Winterthur’s collections, as well as participate in pre-conference tours of nearby communities
with a special focus on communities of the twentieth century.

Please submit your proposals for individual papers or whole sessions via the website submission portal ( ) and join us in this celebration of intentional community and material culture. Please include an abstract of 150 words maximum describing your presentation and/or session. Also, please include your biographical statement of 100 words maximum. For information please get in touch with Program Chair Susan Love Brown, . All presenters will be notified of their acceptance by email by July 1, 2019.

A limited amount of financial support is available for graduate student assistance. If applicable,
please indicate your interest with your on-line proposal submission. Successful applicants will be
notified of financial support by email by August 2019.

The Communal Studies Association is an interdisciplinary organization for people living in intentional communities, historic site personnel and academics representing topics including history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, political science, and others. The CSA’s annual conference is often held at the site of an historic intentional community or other relevant venues. For more information about the organization, see our website