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 March 1. 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 March 1. The prize winner will be announced in April.

2016 Prize Winners

The undergraduate prize of $250 has been awarded to Suryamayi Aswini Clarence-Smith of the University of California-Berkeley for "Auroville: A Practical Experiment in Utopian Society."

The graduate prize of $500 has been awarded to Cheryl Coulthard of Texas A&M University for "Vegans Gone Wild: The Failure of Militant Anarchist Communes in the Late 1960s."

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, etc.).

The grant will fund research up to $2,000 to be used by June 30 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.

2016 Research Travel Grant Winner

The two winners of the 2016 Grant who will share the $2,000 award are Molly Reed of Cornell University for her project on "Ecology of Utopia: Environmental Discourse and Practices in Antebellum Communal Settlements" and Cheryl Coulthard of Texas A&M University for her project on "Preliminary Dissertation Research on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Communes in the United States."


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