2013 Conference Theme: “Transitions in Leadership”
October 3-5, 2013
Historic Harmony Butler County, PA and Old Economy Village, Beaver County, PA
Deadline for Submission of Paper and Session Proposals: April 17, 2013
Those who have the authority within a communal group, whether by charisma or by some formal organizational position, lead members of their communities to uphold core visions and values, to adapt to changing social conditions, and to maintain social cohesion. However, not all leaders are equally successful, which can be reflected in the growth or demise of community’s themselves.
The theme of CSA’s 2013 conference is transitions in leadership, what causes them as well as what is the impact of them on community survival and longevity. Among the Harmonists, Henrici’s long and able leadership along with a shrinking membership and a diminishing pool of persons capable of leading, made a successful transition impossible. As a rule communal groups which persist establish formal organizations which alter the character and style of leadership. Among the Shakers, the transition from charismatic to organizational leadership was guided by established beliefs and the forethought of early leaders. Later, Shaker core beliefs led to “party” formation and rifts within Shakerism. Whatever examples come to mind, the fact that internal and external social circumstances are dynamic, necessitate transitions in leadership. Still, are transitions simply the result of external factors? Is there no role for personality and interpersonal style in leadership transition?
About the Communal Studies Association
The Communal Studies Association is an interdisciplinary organization for people living in intentional communities, historic site personnel and academics representing topics including history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, political science, and others. Each year, the CSA’s annual conference is held at the site of an historic intentional community.