University of Southern Indiana

Prizes and Travel Grant

Annual Prizes

The Center for Communal Studies at the University of Southern Indiana annually invites submissions for its prize competition for the best undergraduate and graduate student papers on historic or contemporary communal groups, intentional communities and utopias. Submissions may come from any academic discipline and should be focused on a topic clearly related to communal groups or utopias.

Undergraduate Paper or Thesis

Author of the best undergraduate paper or thesis will receive $250. The annual deadline for submission is 1 March. Submission should be sent as an email attachment to charison@usi.edu. The prize winner will be announced in April.

Graduate Paper or Thesis or Dissertation Chapter

Author of the best graduate paper or thesis or dissertation chapter will receive $500. The annual deadline for submission is 1 March. Submission should be sent as an email attachment to charison@usi.edu. The prize winner will be announced in April. If sending a thesis or dissertation chapter, please include a short explanation of how the submission fits into the larger work.

2017 Prize Winners

The undergraduate prize of $250 has been awarded to Summer Jones of Grinnell College for "Striving for Eden: Working Towards Equality in Two Virginia Communes."

The graduate prize of $500 has been awarded to Gary Stein of the University of Southern California for "Building a Communal Environment: Back-to-the-Land in Mendocino."

Research Travel Grant

The Center for Communal Studies at the University of Southern Indiana annually invites applications for a Research Travel Grant to fund research at the Communal Studies Collection at USI's David L. Rice Library. The Communal Studies Collection's rich archival materials hold information on over 600 historic and contemporary communal societies, utopias and intentional communities. A complete listing of communities can be found on the library website.

Strengths include materials on the Harmonists and Owenites who settled nearby New Harmony, Indiana, but the breadth of the collections covers American communalism more broadly. Applicants may be graduate students or established scholars in the United States or abroad from any discipline that involves the study of communalism (such as history, English, anthropology, economics, sociology, American Studies and others).

The grant will fund research up to $2,000 to be used by 30 June of the subsequent year. All applications must include a letter detailing the project and its significance to communal studies, a proposed budget and a vita. 

Applications are due annually by 1 May. The winner of this Research Travel Grant is announced annually in June.

2017 Research Travel Grant Winner

The winner of the 2017 Grant for $2,000 is Lauren Griffiths of Texas Tech University for her project on "When Does a Pilgrim Become a Resident?: Apprenticeship Pilgrimage and Yoga Communes."

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