Past Recipients

Donald Durnbaugh Starting Scholar Award

This award previously known as Starting Scholar Award was renamed to the Donald Durnbaugh Starting Scholar Award in 2005.


  • 2022 – Olivia Chandler, “The Value in Imperfect Endeavors: Exploring Postcapitalist and Prefigurative Practices at East Wind Intentional Community”
  • 2021 – No Award Given
  • 2020 – No Award Given


  • 2019 – Annelise Vought, “A Vision with a Business: Kerista Commune’s Utopian Capitalism”
  • 2018 – Joseph P. Slaughter, “Harmony in Business: Communal Capitalism in the Early Republic”
  • 2017 – Amy Hart, “Owned and Controlled by Negroes: Allenwood and the Study of Subnational Space”
  • 2016 – Lane Atmore, “Death of a Guru: An Analysis of the Postcharismatic Phase in the Transcendental Meditation Movement.”
  • 2015 – Leigh Gialanella, “Discord in Utopia: Reconciling Perfectionism with Human Nature in the Oneida Community”
  • 2014 – Caroline Clarke, “The Millerites and the Shakers”
  • 2013 – No Award Given
  • 2012 – Torang Asadi, “Perfect Embodiments: Corporeal, Communal, and Collective Bodies of Twelve Tribes Community”
  • 2011 – Iris Kunze, “Social Innovations for Communal and Ecological Living”
  • 2010 – Thomas A. Guiler, “Rebuilding Oneida: Ideology, Architecture, and Community Planning in the Oneida Community Limited, 1880-1935”


  • 2009 – David Swartz, “The Third Way: The Politics of Spiritual Community in the Evangelical Left”
  • 2008 – Kathryn Turner, “Becoming “Two-in-One”: Imaginary Space and Androgyny in Koreshan Universology”
  • 2006 – Michelle Smith, “Painting the Living Scenery of Amana: A Case Study of the Rhetoric of Containment”
  • 2005 – Erika Doot, “Heritage Tourism and Identity Transformation in the Amana Colonies”
  • 2004 – Laurie Rivlin Heller, “The More Philosophy of Victor Baranco and the Institute of Human Abilities”
  • 2003 – No Award Given
  • 2002 – Neva Jean Specht, “‘Constrained to Afford Them Countenance and Protection’: The Role of the Philadelphia Friends in the Settlement of Separatists of Zoar”
  • 2001 – Tim Hodgdon, “The Male Work Ethic is Busted: Manhood, Feminism, and the Sexual Division of Labor at Black Bear Ranch, 1966-74”
  • 2000 – Deirdre Hughes, “The World of Poor Eve: Re-defining Women’s Roles in Nineteenth Century Utopian Communities”


  • 1999 – Peter Hoehnle, “Communal Bonds: Contact Between the Amana Society and Other Communal Groups, 1843-1932”
  • 1997 – Sora Friedman, “No Place Like Home: The Settling of Jersey Homesteads, New Jersey”
  • 1996 – Brad Whitsel, “Taking Shelter from the Coming Storm: The Milliennial Impulse of the Church Universal and Triumphant”
  • 1995 – Elizabeth A. DeWolfe, “Weapons of Zion: Tales of Woe as a Source of Shaker Strength”