BLHV-352 The 1960s: Decade of Transformation
Spring for 2017-2018
“The Times They Are A-Changin’” is the title of a Bob Dylan song from 1964. Perhaps the title itself encapsulates an emerging mood in America during this decade of transformation. The inclusive years of the 1960s begins with the election of John Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States in 1960 and concludes with the end of the Vietnam War on January 27, 1973. This entire period was, in fact, more than a time of change: it was a time of formation. More than 70 million young Americans of the post-war years – “baby boomers” - were coming of age and not liking the direction America was going. Having experienced the conservative and lucrative post-war fifties with the advent of television, rock & roll and super highways, America’s youth generally rejected any association with their parents’ generation. They experimented with new and radical ways of thinking that powerfully challenged the very fabric of American life. To be sure, many of the revolutionary ideas from the sixties are shaping life in the West today. The 1960s was not only a decade of transformation in American history, but an era of formation and influence that would lay the foundation for generations to come.
“The1960s: Decade of Transformation” is an undergraduate course that will review the political landscape and cultural milieu coming from the Eisenhower post-war era, while examining new and ostensibly radical ideology, protest movements, and counterculture of the period that often united politicians and dissidents in similar causes. By design this course is interdisciplinary, as students will have the opportunity to select themes in political science, the arts (music, entertainment, and media), religion, philosophy and sociology (culture studies) for their semester research paper.
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