The quick story is that I was asked by Warren Rochelle, an English professor at UMW, to chaperone a group of students with him to an intentional community in central Virginia called Twin Oaks. (Warren was teaching a first year seminar on Utopias at the time). I had read an article in the Washington Post years before on Twin Oaks, so I was intrigued. The tour, which took place nine year ago today (February 24, 2007) was excellent, and I have subsequently visited Twin Oaks a few more times.
In an interesting coincidence, today at I gave a social science research colloquium talk on my emerging research on ICs. I got some excellent feedback and questions from colleagues in history, sociology, political science, biology, and other departments, particularly about how to frame the study historically (essentially, why the surge in intentional communities now? Are there certain flash points historically for their emergence, and if so, what are some (dis)similarities from the past?)
But, as all with all good sociology tales, there is far more to the story… More to come.