June 27-30, 2019

Hancock, MA


Organized by Hancock Shaker Village, Shaker Seminar is an adult education program that provides a stimulating and enriching immersion in Shaker history. Now in its 43rd year, the seminar attracts curious and passionate travelers who come together each summer to share research, exchange ideas, and visit (or re-visit) places inhabited by the Shakers.  During Seminar, participants enjoy lectures, tours, and demonstrations that deepen our understanding of Shaker religion, society, and history.

The 2019 Shaker Seminar will highlight the history of spiritualism and the impact of religious ideologies on the region of Western Massachusetts and New York State. Through talks, tours, and behind-the-scenes visits to the Hancock Shaker Village collection, Seminar attendees will delve into the rituals and objects that emerged from alternative religious movements epitomized by the Shakers. We are thrilled to welcome keynote speakers Christian Goodwillie, director and curator of special collections and archives at Hamilton College (Clinton, NY), and Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America, as well as featured presenters Glendyne Wergland, Jane Crosthwaite, Cynthia Wade, and others. The Seminar will include a half-day field trip to Tyringham, where Stephen Paterwic, author of Tyringham Shakers, will guide us through some of the historic structures that once were home to part of the Hancock bishopric.

The seminar experience, which rotates each year among Shaker sites in the US (and England!), includes most meals and all tours and talks. A participant can register for all three days or choose to attend only a day or two.





CALL FOR PAPERS – Scholars, makers, social scientists, spiritualists, farmers, community builders, and other stakeholders are invited to submit proposals for presentations.

Preference will be given to new research bringing insight to the continued resonance of Shaker history from a range of fields, including sustainability, economics, technology, gender studies, spirituality, design, architecture, anthropology, and community development. Presentations can take the form of a talk, interactive program, or demonstration lasting no more than 45 minutes with additional time for questions. All presenters will receive a modest honorarium, as well as a special rate on Shaker Seminar programs and meals.

Email proposals to Sarah Margolis-Pineo, Curator.

Please include:
– a summary of your presentation*
– a current bio, resume, or CV
– deadline March 15
*Indicate if this is a new proposal, or if/where this research has been presented previously.