Nesting Boxes: American Communes and the Liberal Arts

Presented by Dr. Holly Folk, Associate Professor of Liberal Studies at Western Washington University

February 29th is the historic birthday of Mother Ann Lee, founder of the United Society of Believer’s in Christ’s Second Appearing. In the mid-19th century, more than 4000 people lived in 19 Shaker settlements. Today that number has fallen to three living members, who are sustained in worship by a community of supporters. Though commonly remembered for their contributions to American music, architecture, and furniture design, the Shakers proposed radical alternatives for how to be human. Developed over time, the Shaker “Order” became a system for regimenting the physical body, personal conduct, and social interaction. Come learn a bit about the Shakers and efforts to preserve their history, and that of other planned societies. The talk will discuss the inter-disciplinarity of communal studies, and the practical lessons communes offer for the humanities and general education.

Date of Lecture:
Monday, February 29, 2016