1968 Student Protests around the Globe
The mere mention of 1968 conjures up images of rebellious students facing off against police. At the end of a tumultuous decade, which saw a nuclear arms race and the escalation of the Vietnam War, youths in Mexico City, Chicago, Paris, West Berlin, Prague, and Beijing protested political conditions and demanded social and cultural reforms. But what exactly enraged young people around the world and led them to the streets to challenge authority? This course examines the politics, protest strategies, and youth cultures of the student movements against the backdrop of the global Cold War. We will devote special attention to the historical significance of student protests: was 1968 a watershed moment, or did domestic unrest perpetuate the status quo of the Cold War? Exploring topics that range from generational conflict and counterculture to race and gender, this course aims to improve students’ ability to analyze textual and visual sources critically, write clearly and coherently, and articulate their thoughts confidently in front of others.