March 8-10, 2018
Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, Middlebury, VT, USA
Deadline: October 5, 2017
If the 1960s “changed modern history,” one year —1968—stands out. In this year antiimperialist and anti-establishment forces took to the streets of major cities around the globe, challenging, and even hoping to dismantle, the post-1945 power structure. With the rise of national liberation movements on almost every continent, the Civil Rights and Feminist movements in the U.S., anti-Vietnam demonstrations in the U.S. and around the world, and decolonization in Africa, 1968 pulsed with a new sense of optimism. It heralded new forms of art, music, thinking, and debate. But in 1968 conservative governments came to power in France, Britain, and the U.S; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated; the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia and Mao Zedong rolled out China’s brutal Cultural Revolution. In short, on multiple fronts 1968 symbolized the quest for, and intense opposition to, dramatic change in the status quo—an ever-evolving dynamic that continues to date.
Because 1968 marked a time when authority, legitimacy, and power were questioned, challenged, and exercised—in realms ranging from the political and cultural to the social and economic—we seek papers that examine the pre-histories and after-lives of these episodes and/or their contemporary manifestations across the globe. Papers should offer critical analysis of the cultural, political, and social upheavals that characterize the period with geographical and socio-cultural specificity. Papers focusing on (1) specific events of 1968; (2) the historical tributaries leading up to 1968; or (3) modern challenges to status quo power structures that echo 1968’s dynamics, are particularly welcome.
We invite papers that extend our understanding of 1968, offer new analysis of the period, and challenge conventional narratives, either through new interpretations or historical examples. We welcome papers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives across the social sciences and the humanities on one of the following themes:
• Power and its limits: military, political, cultural
• Visualizing 1968: media, architecture, art
• Decolonization, national liberation, and their legacies
• Iconic political inspirations (e.g., Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others)
• The “Third World”: agent of change, arena of conflict
• Student movements, campus politics, free speech
• Counter culture and its legacies
• The prism of 1968: between lived experience and archival trace
Those interested in presenting at the conference should send an abstract (no more than 250 words) and their curriculum vitae by October 5, 2017, to the organizers below. The selection process is competitive.
All presentations must be in English.
Funds are available to support travel and lodging of all presenters.
Tamar Mayer, Professor of Geography and Director of the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Vazquez, Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture, email@example.com
Mark Williams, Professor of Political Science, firstname.lastname@example.org