Annual Conference

Paper Submission Deadline: May 9, 2020

The 2020 CSA Conference Theme: “Foundations and Futures”

October 1 – October 3, 2020
Historic Ephrata Cloister in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

The foundational knowledge of intentional communities shapes the formation and futures of those communities, as well as shaping outsiders’ and scholars’ views of them. The 2020 conference invites attendees studying, working at or living in communal societies to consider the foundational information known about intentional communities. The conference also challenges participants to reexamine past histories in light of new research and changing interpretations. How might foundational knowledge continue to operate within communities long after their founding? How might foundational knowledge shape scholars’ views of communities? How might foundational knowledge about a community be challenged or critiqued by outsiders, scholars, or by the community itself? How might foundational scholarship about a community influence or be critiqued by later scholars? How might foundational knowledge be reinterpreted over time?

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

Ephrata Cloister is in eastern Pennsylvania, about 9 miles from the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Exit 286, Reading/Ephrata). The closest airport is Harrisburg (MDT), about an hour away, or Philadelphia (PHL) about 90 minutes away. Conferees arriving by air should rent a car, as no transportation from the airports is planned
Conference sessions and lunches are scheduled at the historic site. The conference motel is the Comfort Inn Lancaster County North, about 12 miles from Ephrata. Motel room rates are $99 Wednesday and Thursday nights, and $115 Friday and Saturday nights. Call the motel directly at 717/874-1079 to reserve rooms and tell them you are with CSA. Reserved rooms will be released to the public on September 1, so book early. Dates for the conference are Thursday, October 1 through Saturday, October 3, 2020. Pre-conference tours (subject to change) are scheduled for Wednesday, September 30 to Father Divine’s Mansion and Thursday, October 1 to Historic Bethlehem, PA. Online registration should be available around June 15, 2020.

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.