Fall 2010 -
Graduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Description of Course:
The title of this course is "The Long Decade: The 1960s, from Elvis to The Last Waltz." This multidisciplinary course defines "the 1960s" as the period from the mid-1950s (Elvis, the Montgomery Bus Boycott) to the mid-1970s (the fall of Richard Nixon, The Band's "Last Waltz" Concert). This is a period of intense political, social, and cultural change in U.S. society. As such, we will be examining the various movements: civil rights, youth, countercultural, feminist, and anti-war. We will want to discuss the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s and the changing relationships between men and women. We will also examine the critical foreign policy events of the period: the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. In addition, we will examine developments in high and popular culture in areas such as film, literature, and music. A central purpose of the course will be also to help the aging instructor recapture and relive his long-lost youth.
During seminar sessions, beyond discussing the readings and debating the issues, we will be viewing documentary films.
TEXTS (All Paperbacks)
Mark Hamilton Lytle, America’s Uncivil Wars.
Brian Ward, ed. The 1960s: A Documentary Reader.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-house Five, or the Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death.
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, All You Need Is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the
Michael Flamm and David Steigerwald, Debating the 1960s.
Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
Barry K. Grant, ed., American Cinema of the 1960s.
Sara Davidson, Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties.
Glen Altschuler, All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n” Roll Changed America.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Faithful attendance at seminar sessions; vigorous and informed participation in seminar discussions; submission of a series (8-12) of short (1,000 -1,250 words) papers based on assigned readings.