In An Unreal Estate, Lucinda Carspecken takes an in-depth look at Lothlorien, a Southern Indiana nature sanctuary, sustainable camping ground, festival site, collective residence, and experiment in ecological building, stewardship, and organization. Carspecken notes the way fiction and reality intertwine on this piece of land and argues that examples such as Lothlorien have the power to be a force for social change. Lothlorien's organization and social norms are in sharp contrast with its surrounding communities. As a unique enclave within a larger society, it offers to the latter both an implicit critique and a cluster of alternative values and lifestyles. In addition, it has created a niche where some participants change, grow, and find empowerment in an environment that is accepting of difference-particularly in areas of religion and sexual orientation.
Lucinda Carspecken is Adjunct Professor in Qualitative Research Methods and Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington.
Acknowledgments A Note on Names 1. "That Dose of Unreality": An Introduction to Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary 2. "Dream Flowers": Fiction and Utopian Imagination in Neo-Paganism and Alternative Communities 3. Faerie and Avalon: Reimagining Nature 4. "A Loose-Knit Anarchy": Reimagining Organization 5. "The Land of Misfit Toys": Reimagining Community and Freedom 6. "Something Mystical and Fine": Reimagining Ritual and Spiritual Experience 7. "A Gypsy Community": Cycling, Learning, and Moving On 8. "A Spontaneous Social Experiment" Notes Bibliography Index