Annual Conference

Paper Submission Deadline extended to

July 1, 2020

The 2020 CSA Conference Theme: “Foundations and Futures”

October 1 – October 3, 2020
Virtual Conference.

A message from the CSA President

Dear Communal Studies Association Members,

The CSA board met this past week to consider how best to hold a conference this fall. Given the uncertain situation with the COVID-19 pandemic—including the potential health challenges of traveling and meeting together, as well as budget cuts and travel restrictions at many institutions—we decided that it would be best to hold a “virtual” conference. Our conference will occur on the same dates, October 1-3, and have the same theme, “Foundations and Futures.” But rather than meet at the Historic Ephrata Cloister in Pennsylvania, we will meet on-line to hear the latest scholarship and perspectives in the field of communal studies.

We plan to have a vibrant program and we invite you to participate! Please consider submitting a paper or a panel proposal. We hope to have both traditional sessions of scholarly papers as well as a range of panel discussions. Papers and panels that consider the current situation—community in a time of a pandemic and what that says about how we think about community—would be especially welcome. Meeting virtually brings opportunities to involve an even broader range of participants than our regular conferences. We especially hope that it will facilitate the participation of communitarians and students. We are extending the deadline for papers and panels to July 1. See below for a link to submit a proposal on our website

As part of the conference, we also plan to hold our traditional CSA auction. Please think about what you might be willing to sell and ship to another CSA member!

Best regards,

Matt Grow, President, Communal Studies Association

Conference Theme Information

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.

Submit Papers Here

Additional Information

  • Registration Information – coming soon
  • Conference Program PDF – coming soon

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.