Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs

6th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference

1968, Fifty Years of Struggle

March 8-10, 2018

If the 1960s “changed modern history,” one year —1968—stands out. In this year, anti-imperialist and anti-establishment forces took to the streets of major cities around the globe, challenging, and even hoping to dismantle, the post-1945 power structure. With the rise of national liberation movements on almost every continent, the Civil Rights and Feminist movements in the U.S., anti-Vietnam demonstrations in the U.S. and around the world, and decolonization in Africa, 1968 pulsed with a new sense of optimism. It heralded new forms of art, music, thinking, and debate. But in 1968 conservative governments came to power in France, Britain, and the U.S; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated; the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia and Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution was met with intensifying violence. In short, on multiple fronts 1968 symbolized the quest for, and intense opposition to, dramatic change in the status quo—an ever-evolving dynamic that continues to date.

Because 1968 marked a time when authority, legitimacy, and power were questioned, challenged, and exercised—in realms ranging from the political and cultural to the social and economic—conference papers will examine the pre-histories and after-lives of these episodes and/or their contemporary manifestations across the globe. They will offer critical analysis of the cultural, political, and social upheavals that characterize the period with geographical and socio-cultural specificity. 

Organizers: