University of Southern Indiana

Prizes & Travel Grant

Undergraduate and Graduate 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 submissions is 1 March. Submissions should be sent as an email attachment to charison@usi.edu. Submissions may come from any academic discipline and should be focused on a topic clearly related to communal groups or utopias. 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 submissions is 1 March. If sending a thesis or dissertation chapter, please include a short explanation of how the submission fits into the larger work. Submissions may come from any academic discipline and should be focused on a topic clearly related to communal groups or utopias. Submissions should not be longer than 35 pages and should be sent as an email attachment to charison@usi.edu. The prize winner will be announced in April.

2019 Prize Winners

The undergraduate prize of $250 is awarded to Ashley Lawhorn of the University of Southern Indiana for (click for PDF) "New Harmony, Indiana--Including Women in the Nineteenth Century."

The graduate prize of $500 is awarded to Oded Marom of the University of Southern California for (click for PDF) "Trying Not to Think About It: The Limits of Inter-ideological Collaboration in Prefigurative Communities."

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. (Fees may apply to grant winners from outside the United States.) All applications must include:

  • Letter detailing the project and its significance to communal studies
  • Proposed budget
  • Vita

Applications are due annually by 1 March. The winner of the Research Travel Grant is announced in April.

2019 Research Travel Grant Winners

The winners of the 2019 Research Travel Grant are Joshua Lockyer of Arkansas Tech University for his project on “Celo Community of North Carolina" and John Page of Southern Cross University (Australia) for his project on "The Lawful Forest.”

Communal Studies Collections Prizes

WHAT: Two $250 prizes: one to assist a USI student (undergraduate or graduate) and one to assist a USI faculty or staff member in presenting a paper at a conference.

PURPOSE: To encourage research in the USI Rice Library Communal Studies Collection. Winners must use research materials from the Collection to present a paper at a conference within one year of receiving the prize.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All USI students (undergraduate or graduate), faculty (current, retired, full-time, part-time) and staff (full-time and part-time).

APPLICATION: Send a one-page application – including collections used, research completed, your name and whether you are faculty, staff or student – to Casey Harison (charison@usi.edu) as an email attachment by 6 February 2019.

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