Intentional communities—religious and secular, historic and contemporary—have often been motivated by visions of the end times, including millennialism, apocalypticism, and some forms of utopianism. These visions range from viewing the end times in terms of worldwide destruction to seeing them as a final precursor to a newly rejuvenated world. While paper proposals may address any aspect of communal and intentional groups, we especially encourage proposals addressing the theme of the end times, including how visions of the end times have shaped communal groups’ lifestyles, theologies, worldviews, and public perceptions.
The 2016 conference will be held at Salt Lake City, Utah, and will highlight Mormon communalism through tours and sessions. Driven in part by their millennial theology, the Mormon pioneers who founded Salt Lake City in the late 1840s and 1850s had earlier attempted to implement communal living in their communities in the Midwest. While Mormon settlement was shaped by a variety of cooperative enterprises, a more intense reawakening of Latter-day Saint communalism occurred in the 1870s and 1880s. In addition to the Mormon presence in Utah, the broader American West has been home to many communal groups driven by millennial, apocalyptic, and utopian views.
We seek a wide range of participation. CSA welcomes proposals from graduate and undergraduate students, first-time presenters, and professional and amateur scholars alike. Proposals are due May 15 and can be submitted at the CSA website, www.communalstudies.org, or be e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew Grow, Program Chair