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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2007

AMS 370 • You Say You Want a Revolution? Society, Culture and Politics in the 1960s-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30480 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
BUR 228

Course Description

In this class we will explore the major social movements and the political, cultural and intellectual developments of the 1960s, as well as their origins in the 1950s and earlier. These include post-war liberalism; the Great Society and the War on Poverty; the New Left; the Free Speech Movement; the peace movement; the Civil Rights movement; nationalist and liberation movements among African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, American Indians, gays and lesbians, and women; the youth movement and counterculture; the conservative movement; and the environmental movement. Throughout, we shall seek to learn not only what happened, but also why it happened; moreover, as members of a university community, we will be attentive to the question of how political and social activity in the 1960s, activity inspired largely by young people in and around universities, has affected our lives today and our relationship to politics and civic life.

In the 1960s spirit of "participatory democracy" this class will be run as something of a cooperative enterprise. Rather than working on the model of expert teacher and student receptacles-of-knowledge, as students you will be actively contributing to the course content through your own research and presentations to the class. In other words, your active participation is essential to the success of the course. If you were hoping for a more passive learning experience, you should look elsewhere.

Grading Policy

There will be multiple opportunities to write and to engage with assigned readings. Students will also be required to do primary research for a class presentation; this research will either be done using printed media from the period, or using archival materials in the Center for American History or in other University of Texas collections. Students will also write a final research paper that deals with an aspect of the 1960s.


Andrew Jameson and Ron Eyerman, Seeds of the Sixties Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, Takin' It To the Streets: A Sixties Reader Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


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