Back to the Land

Full Course Title: 
Back to the Land

"Back to the Land' will introduce freshman to the recent revival in homesteading and the increasingly popular lifestyle of self-sufficiency. This course will cover the history of modern homesteading ranging from the back-to-land movement to the present day and will present a critical, comparative analysis of these two periods. We will also explore the various attitudes toward and reasons for homesteading and independent living as well as homesteading skills and their importance. Specific topics will include: the varied perceptions of homesteading in the 20th and 21st century, the changing makeup of homesteaders, the local food movement, growing and preserving one's own food, small farm and homestead opportunities for income; renewable energy options, and understanding of the public GIS/ARC systems, financial responsibility and self-sufficiency, and legal and regulatory concerns. In addition to researching the academic literature on homesteading through Belk Library and public records, students will meet local homesteaders from both new and older generations who will visit class, and will make two visits to a local homestead.  Listen to Chuck Smith's Back to the Land podcast.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
128: TR 12:30-1:45pm
134: TR 2:00-3:15pm
Fall 2024
The Arts
Global Issues

Charles Smith

Charles Smith

Chuck Smith has been teaching at Appalachian for over 16 years and is currently a senior lecturer in First Year Seminar. His academic interests are varied and include history, philosophy, and socio-politics of: the American environmental movement, perceptions of nature and wilderness, alternative and renewable energy, land preservation and conservation, and sustainable development. Mr. Smith is a carpenter by trade and works his small farm and homestead nearby in Ashe County.