Notes from the Classroom

What are they teaching kids these days? We thought you might like to take a peek inside Antioch’s classrooms to find out what topics students are learning about. Below are a few courses being taught in Block A, along with the topics scheduled for the first few weeks of the term.

HIST 105  //  Doing History: Antioch Stories   //   David Thelen

Course Description: History orients us to our world. Our sense of possibilities and constraints in the present is shaped by our understandings of what people did and tried to do in the past. Over the past decades the Antioch and Yellow Springs communities have gone through many challenges and controversies that not only shape Antioch as we find it today and the possibilities we now experience, but also have been part of national social movements and debates about higher education in the U.S. Students will draw on excellent local resources, including Antiochiana (The Antioch College Archives), the Greene County Historical Society, the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center at Wilberforce, etc., and the guidance of the Antioch College archivist. Students will become more grounded in their new surroundings, and will practice negotiating conflicting historical accounts and perspectives [and engaging in dialogues with members of the community over legacies of their own past.] In general, students will practice history at a beginning level, developing the skills of historians to make their own explorations and interpretations of aspects of Antioch’s past that interest them, and presenting these interpretations to the community in the form of writings, blogs, Wikipedia entries, exhibitions, presentations, and the like.


  • Four Perspectives on History
  • Developing practical experience with finding and expressing one’s voice as a student
  • Exploring how history both broadens and constrains how people frame horizons of possibility and limitation in shaping personal lives
  • Inventing, negotiating, remaking and sustaining of memory and tradition
  • Exploring relationships between Antioch’s values and dominant ones in the surrounding world
  • Making, reading and using sources: Traces and evidence from the past
  • Exploring alternatives for creating and sustaining experience and sense of community


  • Becoming Martin Luther King, Jr.: Plagiarism and Originality: A Round Table (Journal of American History, June 1991)
  • Young Man Geertz: A Senior Paper (Antioch Review, Fall 2009)
  • Uses and Abuses of History for Living of Life (Friedrich Nietzsche)
  • Introduction: Inventing Traditions (Eric Hobsbawm in The Invention of Tradition)
  • The New Antioch (Arthur Morgan, c. 1921)
  • Introduction to Antioch College (Antioch Catalog, 2011)
  • Memory and American History (David Thelen in the Journal of American History, March 1989)
  • For Something Beyond the Battlefield: Frederick Douglass and the Struggle for the Memory of the Civil War (David W. Blight)
  • Towards an Autonomous Antioch College: The Story of the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute (Jean Gregorek in the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, 2010)
  • Horace Mann, Baccalaureate Address of 1859 (Joy Elmer Morgan in Horace Mann at Antioch, 1938)
  • Xenia Torchlight Letters (S. W. Dodds, 1867)
  • Commencement Address by Martin Luther King (Antioch College, 1965)
  • The Distinctive College (Burton R. Clark, 2009)

GS 120  //  Global Seminar: Food   //   Kristin Adler and Sara Black

Course Description: Why do we eat what we eat? What are our food traditions? Where does our food come from and how is it produced? What are the institutions, policies, and cultural dynamics that shape our eating habits? What are the costs and benefits—human, environmental, social, economic, political—of food production and consumption today? Are our methods of food production and distribution sustainable? What are positive solutions to the global food crisis? This course introduces students to food in relation to culture, science, psychology, history, politics and socio‐economics. This global seminar will include national and regional guest speakers, documentary films, and experiential/service learning. The course is oriented around guest led topics and small group discussions. Student requirements will include reading, journaling, and collaborative final projects.


  • “Foodways” and Food as a Centerpiece within Ritual and Tradition (Panel discussion with Dr. Lucy Long, folklorist, Bowling Green State University and other invited guests)
  • The Feast and Conviviality in Visual and Socially-Engaged Art (a Skype discussion with Stephanie Smith, curator of the exhibition Feast at the Smart Museum of Art)
  • Food and the Body: Bodily Health, Poverty and Obesity (Presentation by Jo Wilson, psychologist, Wittenburg University)
  • How Did We Get Here? A History of Agriculture, the Green Revolution, and Common Farming Practices (Presentation by Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, agricultural historian, Iowa State University)


  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)
  • Renewing America’s Food Traditions; Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (Sidney W. Mintz)
  • The Biology of Binge Eating (Wendy Foulds Mathes, Kimberly A. Brownley, Xiaofei Mo, and Bynthia M. Bulik)
  • Poverty and Obesity: The Role of Energy Density and Energy Costs (Adam Drewnowski and SE Specter)
  • The Worst Mistake in Human History (Jared Diamond)
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus (Charles C. Mann)
  • Industrializing the Corn Belt (J.L. Anderson)