Hello, dear friends and backers,
This is a big week for the project! I'm working on my first draft/outline, and also going to be in Ohio and will hopefully be able to visit Antiochiana to gather further information and research, both of which are exciting--the latter will involve me tracking down articles I wrote in the Antioch Record a decade ago, which is an odd feeling.
The knottiest problem is, as I expected, chronology. While the collapse of the college is a fascinating story, telling it in full and chronologically suffers as a narrative. Starting at the beginning makes the details which will become critical later difficult to focus on, but starting too late means constantly going back for crucial details.
Instead, I've decided to build the story in order of complexity: "Why is Antioch important?" "What were the official reasons giving for closing?" "Why was enrollment so critical?" are good starting points, and they lead to more complex questions like "What was Antioch University and how did it take control of the college?" and "What was the Renewal Plan and how did it shove the college off a cliff?" That in turn eventually leads to the machination of the Financial Consolidation plan of 2001 and the closing of the college plus rejection of alumni attempts to keep it open, both of which require a strong base of knowledge to explain. (Those of you who know or were there may be nodding your heads, those of you who don't know Antioch are probably utterly baffled, which is kind of my point.)
Yet even that has its own issues, like trying to figure out the best point to counter the toxic culture myth, or figuring out how deeply to go into biography or key players. Fortunately, I've given myself plenty of time and space, and have intelligent and helpful allies (including all of you!) that it should take a strong form without too much hassle.
As ever, you can contact me on twitter @rowankaiser or email me, also rowankaiser but at gmail in that case.