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Joe Lowndes '90 on the New Antioch College

Joseph Lowndes '90 is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon. His research interests include American political development, discourse analysis, ideology, institutions, and political identity. He teaches courses on US politics and government, racial politics, political culture, and the the presidency. His most recent book, From the New Deal to the New Right, has been called a "valuable contribution to the study of contemporary conservatism" by Publishers Weekly.

Lowndes, a former Community Manager, lives in Eugene with his partner, Priscilla Yamin; and two children, Benjamin and Adam.

On memories of Antioch College: I had a high school social studies teacher who told me I wouldn't last a year in a conventional college or university, but that there was this place called Antioch he knew of that might work out.  I did a self-designed major in social ecology . . . [favorite memory] Too many to name. Walking around in the Glen (in any season); schmoozing with friends in the Lewis common room; Antioch Greens meetings; working in community government; watching the Gits play.

Was there a professor that made a huge impact on your life? In very different ways, Hassan Rachmanian, James Daraja, and John Ronsheim.

Any stirring words of wisdom about Antioch College's recent independence? Hurray!

If you could bring one thing to the future of Antioch College, what would it be? Harvard's endowment.

Why do you donate to Antioch College? A few reasons. First, Antioch is unique in its educational model. To lose it would be tragic both for higher education, and for society more generally.  Second,we need a school with overtly progressive, humanistic values now more than ever. In a world that is increasingly driven by corporate imperatives, having a school that unabashedly puts social activism in the forefront is invaluable. Currently the only conservative christian colleges do this.  Finally,  Antioch's rich history gives it a hallowed place in American society that should not be relinquished. This is the America of abolition, of women's equality, of civil rights, of opposition to war and imperialism, of queer liberation.  We have no greater symbol of these struggles and their meaning than Antioch College.

On his current projects: I'm working on kind of  a weird book about how the physical bodies of US presidents become symbolic battlegrounds at moments of polticial change. Specifically, I'm writing about Obama, but I'm using Jackson, Lincoln, and FDR as historical antecedents.

Purchase From the New Deal to the New Right online.