Year of the Guerrilla: The Transnational 1968
On New Year’s 1968 Fidel Castro declared that the coming year would be that of “the heroic guerrilla.” His prediction proved accurate. From Berkeley to Beijing, the events of that year pushed democracy in new directions, overturned social roles, challenged accepted forms of representation, and redefined the very meaning of politics. This course investigates the wave of transnational political contestation that coalesced around that turbulent year. We will situate the year 1968 as both the pivot of a much longer period, beginning in the mid-1950s and lasting until the late 1970s, and as the nodal point of a vast global network of struggle. We will pay close attention to decolonization in Vietnam, the black power movement in the United States, the Cultural Revolution in China, Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, the May events in France, feminism in Italy, and armed struggle in Germany, among other themes. This course therefore aims to not only see how 1968 played out in different national contexts, but to study the transnational connections between these momentous events.
*This course fulfills the seminar requirement, the Europe geographic requirement, and a world history concentration requirement for the History Major.