Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Benjamin L. Ford, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Phillip Neusius, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ellen Berkland, M.A.

Fourth Advisor

Joseph Bagley, M.A.


This research focuses on the ceramics from the Brook Farm site to determine if the assemblage of a utopian communal site is different from a non-utopian site. Brook Farm was a community in Massachusetts established in 1841 and ending in 1847. Brook Farm was an experiment in social reconstruction designed to reunite man and nature in a communal and agricultural community inspired by transcendentalism. In 1844 Brook Farm officially adopted a new social reform theory, Fourierism, which incorporated the industrialization occurring in New England at the time. Consumer choice theory helped to guide the research to determine if the ceramic assemblage is unique, based on what ceramics were chosen by members to be at the site. There was an intra-site comparison between two areas in Brook Farm, the Eyrie and the Cottage, as well as a comparison to an urban site in the Tremont Street Housing site.