a nonprofit devoted to interdisciplinary arts and humanities public education

Seminars

1968 Now

 
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The Year 1968...

was revolutionary, turbulent, and tragic in almost every field. The Vietnam War raged; the Cold War continued. In France, protests and strikes against traditional institutions, values, and order brought the national economy to a halt for two weeks. In the US, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy within just two months shook the nation to its core as racial tensions throughout the country flared. As the year drew to a close, the first manned spacecraft orbited the moon.

This seminar series will take a broad look at the cultural, social, political, and artistic forces at work in 1968. We seek to balance the political expressions that grew out of this time with the realities of the time—what did it mean to be a woman, or to be black? What was the role of political assassination, especially in the US? (Indeed, the world might be unrecognizable today, had the Kennedy and King assassinations never occurred.) The seminars will also include a special emphasis on the music of the time, which commanded attention on its own. Whereas today it is a commercial commodity, music felt dangerous and revolutionary in 1968. It was possibly the most potent force in the world at that time to bring together crowds united against all kinds of oppression.