University of Southern Indiana

Lecture Series

The Center annually sponsors lectures on topics related to Communal Studies. The lectures typically take place in the fall and spring semesters on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. 

Beverly Seckinger displays two awards received by Hippie Family Values Oct 2019


Professor Beverly Seckinger of the University of Arizona School of Theater, Film & Television will present the film Hippie Family Values (2018) in Kleymeyer Hall on the USI campus on Friday, 27 March 2020 from 11 AM – 1 PM. Hippie Family Values is a feature-length documentary about three generations at a back-to-the-land community in rural New Mexico. Shot over a period of ten years at a remote communal ranch, Hippie Family Values is an intimate chronicle of a handful of hippie elders, along with their adult children and grandkids. The film counters dismissive stereotypes with stories of real people whose worldview was forged in the 60s counterculture, and who remain motivated by those youthful convictions. The founders of this back-to-the-land experiment are slowing down and facing declining health. Will the next generation be able to sustain the community into the future? Fifty years after the Summer of Love, the don’t-trust-anyone-over-30 generation now dotes on their grandchildren, and faces the challenges of advancing age. The elders profiled in the film continue to defy convention as they pursue communal alternatives to commercial retirement facilities and nursing homes. Hippie Family Values won the Grand Festival Award for Documentary at the Berkeley Film Festival, the Outstanding Project Award for 2019 from the Communal Studies Association, and the award for the Outstanding Documentary Feature at the University Film & Video Association 2018 Annual Conference. The film continues to screen in community and campus venues across the country. This event is sponsored by the USI Center for Communal Studies.

Faculty, Students, Staff & Public Invited -- Refreshments Served

George Rapp book

PRESENTATION AND BOOK SIGNING BY DR. SILVIA RODE (Professor of German & Chair of Department of World Languages & Cultures) -- WEDNESDAY, 13 MARCH 2019, 2 -3 pm in KLEYMEYER AUDITORIUM (LA 0101)

"Utopia Explored: George Rapp’s Thoughts on the Destiny of Man, Particularly with Reference to the Present Times; by the Harmonist Society in Indiana. A.D. 1824."

Dr. Rode will be available for a book signing: George Rapp: Thought on the Destiny of Man, Particularly with Reference to the Present Times by the Harmony Society in Indiana A.D. 1824: A Critical Study (2018)

Faculty, Students, Staff & Public Invited -- Refreshments Served


Previous Events

Laura Johnston Kohl, "Jonestown Survivor – Evolution of People's Temple in the 1960s and 1970s" (April 2017)

Center for Communal Studies 40th Anniversary Colloquium (October 2016)

Jaya Priya Reinhalter, "Kashi Ashram, A Community in Transition: Becoming an Intentional Community after 40 Years" (April 2016)

Don Janzen, Exhibit and Talk on Shiloh Community (October 2015)

Artistic Group (Maidens), "Shavasana Project for a Harmonist Farm: Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running, Vibrating the Fabric of Time and Fanning the Glowing Coals of the Ascending Flames of Love in the Play of Wisdom (Dedicated to a Contemplative Society)" (March 2014)

Carol Medlicott, "Branches of One Living Tree: Advancing Shakerism Across the American Frontier" (November 2013)

Stephen Zehr, "The Place of Villages in Sustainable Development" (March 2013)

Dawn Bakken, "Monroe County’s Own New Harmony: An Owenite Experiment in 1826 Bloomington, Indiana" (October 2012)

Donald Pitzer, "New Harmony Then and Now" (March 2012)

Don Janzen, "A Photographic Tour of America's Intentional Communities" (April 2009)



The Center celebrated its 40th Anniversary (1976 to 2016) with a Colloquium of presenters from colleges across USI and from local experts.

USI Center for Communal Studies

40th Anniversary Colloquium

19 October 2016

Rice Library Room 0017

Schedule of Presentations

9:00 am: Casey Harison, “What is the Center for Communal Studies?”

9:30 am: Jennifer Greene, “Archiving Community and Challenges in the 21st Century”

10:00 am: Donald E. Pitzer, “The Remarkable Origin and Formative Decades of the Center for Communal Studies”

10:30 am: Kevin Celuch, “Paradox and Contradiction: The ‘Tug-of-War’ Peril and Promise for Social Innovation”

11:00 am: Silvia Rode, "House Gardening and the Labyrinth: A Harmonist Horticultural Model"

Noon: Donald E. Pitzer, “The Remarkable Origin and Formative Decades of the Center for Communal Studies”

12:30 pm: Elissa T. Mitchell, “Hope Meadows: Lessons from an Intentional Intergenerational Community”

1:00 pm: Patricia Sides, "A Hoosier in the Holy Land: Rosamond Dale Owen's Quest for Utopia"

1:30 pm: Mike Strezewski, The Changing Face of New Harmony during the Harmonist Period (1814-1825)”

2:00 pm: Cake



Donald Pitzer and Donald Janzen have been crucial figures in the history of Center for Communal Studies -- Don Pitzer as founder and long-time director of the Center, and Don Janzen as friend and main contributor of the resources that make up the Communal Studies Collection. As part of our 40th Anniversary, the Center will post articles and other written works from Don Pitzer and Don Janzen (these open in Word or as a pdf):

Donald E. Pitzer, Updated Bibliography (April 2018) of Developmental Communalism

Donald E. Pitzer, "Developmental Communalism into the Twenty-first Century"

Donald E. Pitzer, "Memories of ICSA"

Donald E. Janzen, "Trends in Cooperative Living Over the Last Fifty Years"

Donald E. Janzen, "Cooperative Living in the 21st Century"

The following contribution was presented at the 1991 International Communal Studies Association meeting. The piece is a bit older than those above, but still provides valuable advice for getting college-age students involved in the study of communities (opens as a pdf):

J. Harvey Baker, "Teaching Community throughout Life"

Contact Dr. Casey Harison


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