Summer Alumni Festival & Nonstop/Alumni Board Proposal

Jul 3rd, 2009

Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute hosted the Summer Alumni Festival from June 18th to the 21st in Yellow Springs. The Festival brought more than 75 Antioch College alumni for three days of programming celebrating the accomplishments of Nonstop over the past year. The festival coincided with the June Alumni Board meeting, and at that meeting, the Alumni Board/Nonstop task force presented its proposal to the Alumni Board. The proposal can be downloaded from the Nonstop website here.

Nonstop’s Summer Alumni Festival featured an academic mini-conference addressing academic freedom and labor issues, film screenings, performances, seminars and presentations by alumni, Nonstop and other faculty, a community work project, and more. Bob Devine ’68 taught what was to be the last session of his beloved class Media and Social Change, as he retired on June 30th. Bob looked back on the 20 years that he has been teaching the class to “explore the paradigm shift in social change media during those years — from content distribution to interaction and the building of relationships”. Bob used the class as a way to explore and understand the ways we have communicated and organized in our efforts to save Antioch College.

As part of the academic mini-conference, filmmaker James Motluk came from Canada to present his film Whose University Is It?, a chronicle of the failed struggle against corporatization at Trent University in Ontario. Professor Alison Hearn from The University of Western Ontario took part in discussing the film and also participated in one of the panel discussions that were part of the conference. The panels explored issues of academic freedom and labor and featured faculty from Nonstop and elsewhere, and were moderated by AAUP President and Antioch Alum Cary Nelson ’67. Scott Warren, former Antioch Professor of Philosophy and Politics and Nonstop faculty member, contributed his expertise in Critical Theory and radical philosophy and politics to offer a contextualization of the Liberal Arts as a means of reclaiming emancipatory knowledge. By charging Antioch and other Liberal Arts institutions to “generate knowledge that can liberate us from various forms of domination and confinement”, Scott’s talk offered valuable food for thought as we reflect on the past year of Nonstop and look forward to building an independent college. Video of all of this programming as well as performances by Nonstop and former Antioch Professors Jill Becker (Dance) and Louise Smith (Theater) can be viewed on Nonstop’s website.

Since March of this year, a task force made up of members of Nonstop and the Alumni Board has been developing a proposal for consideration by the Board Pro Tempore outlining projects that could maintain the momentum built by Nonstop over the past year involving curricular research; the rebuilding of the Co-op program; sustaining a regional cultural and intellectual presence through events and conferences; and entrepreneurial projects that can be integrated with sustainability/greening plans and development of improved information and media services shared by the village and the campus. The proposal was presented to the community at SAF and to the Alumni Board last weekend. Nonstop also reported on plans to move forward to establish not-for-profit status.

For more information, including video documentation of the mini-conference, arts presentations, overview of the task force proposal and more, please visit the SAF archive.