Annual Conference

The 2019 CSA Conference Theme: “Space, Place, and the Spirit of Material Culture”

October 17 – October 19, 2019
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Winterthur, Delaware.

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.

Travel Information

The Crowne Plaza Wilmington North at 630 Naamans Rd., Claymont, DE 19703 has been selected as the conference hotel for the CSA Winterthur Conference, October 17-19. It is approximately 22 minutes via DE 92 East from the Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library, site of the conference. Cost is $119 per night, double occupancy. Call the hotel at 302-792-2700 directly for reservations and say you are with CSA. Room reservations should be made at least a month in advance, as any rooms not reserved at that time will be released by the hotel after September 17.

Attendees using air transportation should use Philadelphia, PA (PHL) airport. No shuttle service is available from the airport to the hotel, so attendees should anticipate either renting a car or using ride-hailing services. Likewise, no service from the hotel to the conference site or dinner venues is anticipated, so attendees are encouraged to pair up with other attendees who do have transportation.

Additional Information

About the Communal Studies Association

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. Each year, the CSA’s annual conference is held at the site of an historic intentional community.