Spring 2013 -
Graduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
4:00 PM - 6:45 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 ancient instructor in his increasingly desperate attempt to recapture and relive his long-lost youth.
During seminar sessions, beyond discussing the readings and debating the issues, we will be viewing documentary films.
Mark Hamilton Lytle, America's Uncivil Wars.
Brian Ward, ed. The 1960s: A Documentary Reader.
Karen Smith & Tim Koster, eds., Time It Was: American Stories from the Sixties.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-house Five, or the Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with
Stephanie Coontz, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women
Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War.
Sara Davidson, Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties.
Glen Altschuler, All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America.
Frank Lambert, The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights vs. State's Rights.
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. Final grade will be based on instructor's evaluation of student's entire effort in class.