TERMINOLOGY

Please look at our glossary, become familiar with our terminology, and discover the key points of our project. This glossary was developed by a multidisciplinary team of linguists, nutritionists, and specialists in anthropology, literature, philosophy and psychiatry.

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BLACK UTOPIAS - In the mid-19th century, a number of utopian communities were established to aid blacks, both free and runaway slaves, in their plight. Unlike most utopian schemes, these black utopias were intended to be temporary, not permanent. Although they were designed to be communal and cooperative, they were to be transitory stages for the blacks who were thereafter to take their rightful and productive place in a free and self-reliant society. In Canada there were four black utopian communities: Wilberforce, Dawn and the British-American Institute, the Elgin Association, and the Refugee Home Society, all in Ontario. The United States had two: Nashoba in Tennessee and the Port Royal Experiment on the South Carolina Sea Islands.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.
BROOK FARM - In 1841 George Ripley (1802-1880), a former Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist, decided to convert his 200- acre country home nine miles from Boston at West Roxbury into a community where all would share equally in the domestic and agricultural chores necessary to run a farm. They would receive equal wages for this work, thus allowing everyone a maximum amount of free time for intellectual and social pursuits. It was financed by a joint stock company with shares valued at $100 each with a guaranteed interest rate of 5 percent per year. Twenty members, most of whom were intellectuals, including Nathaniel Hawthorne (who wrote about his experiences in The Blithedale Romance), began the experiment.
Eventually 115 members lived at Brook Farm, although the total population did not exceed 80 at any given time. Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Thoreau were frequent visitors. Although life at Brook Farm was filled with social events and various cultural endeavors, many found the physical workload to be somewhat daunting. Their most successful undertaking was their school, which attracted students from the surrounding cities by its emphasis on developing creativity and on student self-determination with regard to the subjects they studied. Eventually the framers' goal to keep the work to a minimum resulted in financial difficulties.
In an attempt to rescue their way of life, Ripley and Charles A. Dana, among others, embraced Fourierism in 1844. Brook Farm was renamed The Brook Farm Phalanx, and construction began on a large phalanstery that would house 150 new members. Albert Brisbane and Horace Greeley visited, giving long lectures on Fourierism and morality, and the Fourierist journal The Harbinger was published at the phalanx from 1845 to 1847. Thousands of people applied for membership, but it soon became apparent that the joy had gone out of life at Brook Farm. Work became more structured as new industries were added, but there were not enough members to allow for the rotation of job duties that they had enjoyed in the past. When the phalanstery was destroyed by fire days after it had been completed, no one had the funds or the energy to rebuild it. The property was sold off a year later in 1847.

in Morris, James M. & Andrea L. Kross (2009), The A to Z of Utopianism, UK:
The Scarecrow Press.