Dr. Christopher Antonsen
Web Instructor, Folk Studies
BA Rhetoric, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
MA Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University
PhD English with a concentration in Folk Studies, Ohio State University
Dr. Christopher Antonsen began teaching in 1989 as a part-time faculty member at WKU while working on his M.A. in Folk Studies. While he pursued his Ph.D. at Ohio State University, he continued teaching literature and folklore courses. Also while at OSU, he and fellow folklorist Larry Doyle founded the AFS Graduate Student Section.
In 2001, Chris returned to WKU as a full-time professor teaching Cultural Diversity in the U.S., Urban Folklore, Ethnographic Research Methods, Folk Narrative, and Folklore Genres. He was also the founding faculty advisor for the WKU Folklore Club and an active member of the Women's Studies faculty.
Two years later, Chris began teaching web-delivered courses for WKU. He says that he loves teaching online courses, which require much more intensive forms of preparation and "class time" management. His approach to teaching Cultural Diversity "boils down to a specific focus on the nature and mechanics of culture itself. Exploring types of difference, then, functions to reveal and reinforce the fundamental understanding that all people are cultural beings and, as such, interpret the world around them according to the beliefs and priorities of cultures that influence them."
In 2009, Chris left Bowling Green and switched to teaching online classes for the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology part-time. In addition, he now teaches middle school literature and composition full time at Countryside School in Champaign, Illinois, his wife's and his home town. Little did he realize it before taking that job, but he absolutely loves teaching and spending time with learners at that age. As one should be able to expect, though, he slyly (and often not so slyly) works folklore into his middle school literature curriculum. Folklore is, after all, everywhere.
"In my years at WKU, I have enjoyed the terrific help of graduate assistants Scheri Smith, Claire Aubrey, Kevin Murphy, Stuart Burrill, Tim Jorgensen, Butch Ross, Nelda Ault, and Cynthia Cotton (from "Canadia"). I offer my continuing thanks to each of them for the things they've done for me and for their friendship."
Courses I teach:
FLK 280: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. (undergrad class)
FLK 371: Urban Folklore (undergrad class)