Course Name: The Sixties: Turbulent Decade of Rebellion and Resistance
Instructor: Tim Soulis
This section of FYRS explores the years between 1960 and 1969, primarily in the USA. Fifty years ago, during this decade of changing politics, cultural upheavals, wars and assassinations, civil rights and civil wrongs, America was reinventing itself, and the effects still shape our sense of current traditions in transition.
Potential research topics include the Kennedys, King, Johnson, and Nixon; the Domino Theory and the Vietnam War; redefining “race” amid racial tensions; the Beatles, the Stones, Dylan, and the Jefferson Airplane; The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crises; The Great Society and the John Birch Society; The Greatest Story Ever Told and Jesus Christ Superstar; pot, LSD, and the Counterculture Lifestyle; Woodstock and Altamont; Hippies and Yippies; free love and high-priced sex; bra-burning, draft-card burning, and burning cities; the Space Race: Getting to the Moon and Winning the World for Democracy or Communism; and many more.
We will read a comprehensive overview which puts events in context, as well as considers the years just before and right after the Sixties. After briefly exploring the post-WWII American mind-set to see the Sixties in historical perspective, we will examine selected speeches, essays, documents, films, art work, and music events of the period which capture the essence of the Sixties’ people and their problems, joys and frustrations, hopes and anxieties. Throughout we will consider how the realities of the Sixties continue to influence current political differences and alliances, social and cultural concerns, religious beliefs and scientific revelations, and our country’s sense of itself in the larger community of nations.