eric rhodes 2015

Antioch College – Class of 2016

Major: History, Concentration in French Language

Concentration: Urban History, Intellectual History, 20th Century, US

Coloring the Gem City is the title of an Antioch College Senior Thesis in History undertaken by Eric Rhodes ’16. The project examines the creation of racial segregation in Dayton from roughly 1930 through 2015. The focus will be on the role of the nexus of federal, state, and local housing policy and suburbanization. It also touches on the intellectual history of urban planning in Dayton, Ohio and the social sciences’ treatment of urbanity throughout the 20th century.

Digital Humanities methodologies have been of great importance to Eric’s project. As a component of his preliminary research, Eric is conducting interviews with national and area scholars, as well as people whose lives have been affected by segregation in Dayton. The oral histories will be archived with the Oral Histories in the Liberal Arts initiative. He’s also conducting GIS analysis of racial demographics in Dayton in order to visually illustrate the contours of segregation during the past 85 years. The end result will be a public resource which community members can consult for information on the subject.

Eric is working under the direction of:

Dr. Kevin McGruder, Professor of History at Antioch College. Dr. McGruder recently published Race and Real Estate: Conflict and Cooperation in Harlem 1890-1920 (Columbia University Press, June 2015), a book analyzing race relations and housing in Harlem.
Brooke Bryan, Professor of Cooperative Education at Antioch College. Brooke is an oral historian specializing in experiential learning. She has expertise in field recording for cultural documentation, oral history methodology, and using digital tools for storytelling and scholarship. Brooke heads up the Oral History in the Liberal Arts initiative, where oral histories for this project will be archived.