The Sixties


According to our national mythology, social insurgencies of the 1960s originated in the United States and pitted radical youth against the American mainstream. The real story is much more complicated. Politically speaking, “The Sixties” began in the late 1940s and extended well into the 1970s. The ferment was by no means confined to youth, and developments within the United States were following global patterns. Revolutionary movements and ideas reverberated from Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas, and they mobilized people from virtually all walks of life. This course will situate US movements within their global contexts and will focus especially on movements inspired by revolutionary nationalism and its various permutations among activists addressing issues of colonialism, class, race, gender, and sexuality. Readings will include historical documents, as well as scholarship; we will also make ample use of music and film.