MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs has released a new digital archive of papers delivered at its 2018 international and interdisciplinary conference titled “1968: 50 Years of Struggle,” which took place last spring. In an effort to broaden access to the conference proceedings, the center has made the video presentations available online.
In a decade marked by monumental social change, 1968 stood out for its extraordinary actions by anti-imperialist and anti-establishment forces across many countries. Over the two-day Middlebury conference, scholars representing 10 academic institutions examined the meaning of 1968 in different parts of the world.
As the new website notes, “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.”
The new collection includes a keynote address by the famed American sociologist and communications scholar Todd Gitlin. The author of 16 books and a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, Gitlin opened the conference with his talk, “The Ambiguous Consequences of Failed Revolutions.” In the 1960s, as president of Students for a Democratic Society, Gitlin helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Other videos include Middlebury faculty members Stephen Donadio, the Fulton Professor of Humanities and director of the Program in Literary Studies, who gave a talk titled “Black Power at Columbia, 1968,” and Linus Owens, associate professor of sociology, whose talk was titled “Two, Three, Many Columbias or One Too Many San Francisco States? Remembering the 1968 Student Protests.”
The new archive was designed by student Jack Brisson ’19 in collaboration with Middlebury’s Office of Digital Liberal Arts and Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry. Visit the archive here.