Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kaci Faylee Elder Humanities

Contemporary American Utopias: Diverse Intentional Communities from a Young Feminist Perspective

Kaci’s project creatively links a study of contemporary intentional communities with the rich history of nineteenth century utopian experiments in the United States. Kaci plans a road trip this summer that will take her to five very different cooperative living communities in Los Angeles, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oregon and the Bay Area. In order to dispel the popular notion that the “commune” was born as a concept in the 1960s, Kaci will investigate our national two hundred year history of utopian experiments-both actual and literary-to place her participant-observation studies of young women’s socialization in these modern American utopias in context. Combining academic theory with personal narrative, Kaci’s Women’s Studies Senior Honors Thesis will be deeply grounded in her own personal commitments and experiences as a feminist active in the student cooperative movement.

Profile image of Kaci Faylee Elder
Mentor: Mentor: Caren Kaplan, Associate Professor of Women's Studies
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