History | The Sixties
A382 | 11834 | D. Maxwell
Thinking about the 1960s brings many images to mind—images of
Americans challenging authority and trying to change the world by
putting their “bodies on the wheels” against injustice and war or
through music, drugs, and sex.
The courage of those in the ongoing civil rights movement inspired
others to challenge the status quo of the post–World War II era,
including students, women, gays and lesbians, Latinos, and
environmentalists. Movements such as Black Power, the New Left, the
counterculture, second-wave feminism, the sexual revolution, and
anti–Vietnam War activism emerged. A turn to conservatism late in
the decade changed the trajectory of these movements as the U.S.
headed into the 1970s.
“The Sixties” is an intensive examination of the United States and
its relationship to the world in the 1960s. To gain an
understanding of the era we will read and discuss many first hand
accounts of life in the Sixties, as well as two books: Mark
Kurlansky’s "1968: The Year That Rocked the World" (2004) and Todd
Gitlin’s "The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage" (1987). In
addition we will view film and television clips, photographs, and
art works and listen to music from the decade.
Students will also explore the Sixties in a topic of their choice in
a 6- to 8-page paper. Further requirements include contributions to
group projects, active in-class participation, short writing
assignments, and three exams.