This paper traces the unexpected emergence of community in a recently reconceptualized Teachers as Researchers unit in a preservice teacher education program. Drawing on data collected from 145 of the 292 students who completed the unit, we chronicle and theorize about key events, tensions, and dynamics in the evolution of the community, and endeavor to address the question of why the sense of community emerged, given seemingly less than conducive circumstances. Our interpretations are informed by Foucault's (Discipline and punish: The Birth of the Prison, Vintage Books, New York, 1977; In: C. Gordon (Ed.), 1980, Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings by Michel Foucault, 1972–1977, Pantheon, New York, pp. 109–133) conceptualization of power, Mann's (Stud. Higher Educ. 26(1) (2001)) perspectives on alienation and engagement amongst university students and Wenger's (Communities of practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998) construct of communities of practice.