Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
This seminar investigates the literature, film, music, and philosophy of what some historians have termed “the long sixties” (starting in the late 1950s and ending in the 1970s). The sixties saw an explosion of youth culture as the baby boomers came of age, a media revolution with the rise of TV, and the triumph of new postcolonial states as classical European colonialism drew to a belated close. Yet the memory of the 1960s is contested. Was this a time of repression on a vast scale or of a great flowering of political consciousness? Did radically liberatory forms of subjectivity begin to assert themselves in the sixties, or did the Cold War instead create a geopolitical order of stifling Manichaeism and unprecedented violence? As we work through the mystifying haze that obscures the period, we’ll consider conflicts, social movements, and sexual revolution in four specific countries: Algeria, France, the United States, and Cuba. The class will devote special attention to archival material, in both digital and physical collections, culminating in independent student research projects. Authors read might include Frantz Fanon, Guy Debord, Mavis Gallant, Assia Djebar, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Tom Wolfe, Donald Barthelme, Lino Novás Calvo, and Valerie Solanas; we will watch films by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Stanley Kubrick, Gillo Pontecorvo, Sarita Gómez, and Ralph Bakshi; and we listen to music from Gil Scott-Heron, Silvio Rodríguez, and the Eurovision Song Contest.
First-Year Program: Research Seminars (FIRST-UG)