Fernando Camacho Padilla

Fernando Camacho Padilla has been an assistant lecturer at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid since 2015. Previously, he held a postdoctoral  fellowship at Universidad de Santiago de Chile (2013-2015). He also has been an assistant lecturer at Stockholm University, Uppsala University, Södertorn University College, and Dalarna University (Sweden). He has published the following books: América Latina, Suecia por Chile. Una historia visual del exilio y la solidaridad, 1970-1990, and Una vida para Chile. La solidaridad y la comunidad chilena en Suecia, 1970-2010.

Abstract: “Chile during the Late 60s: The road to the democratic revolution of 1970”

The political and social impact of the Cuban Revolution (1959) in Latin America caused great hope among leftists. The ideas and example of the Cuban revolutionaries soon inspired the youngest generations of the region. Nevertheless, after 1970, the New Left political leaders instead found Chile to be the political reference to follow. Chile’s social and political structure has several similarities with the European countries. Middle class Chilean students were concerned about the international scenario as well as the country’s internal difficulties. New radical political organizations emerged in the 60s, such as Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (Left Revolutionary Movement). Older political leaders, such as Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda, also empathized with the cause of the Chilean youth. This paper will present the evolution of the Chilean Left in the 60s, with special attention to student mobilization, the influence of guevarism, and the main events that ended in the presidency of Salvador Allende.

Lisa M. Corrigan

Lisa M. Corrigan is an associate professor of communication, the director of the Gender Studies Program, and affiliate faculty in both African and African American Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas. She researches and teaches in the areas of social movement studies, the Black Power and civil rights movements, prison studies, feminist studies, the Cuban Revolution, and the history of the Cold War. Her first book, Prison Power: How Prison Politics Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation (University Press of Mississippi, 2016), is the recipient of the 2017 Diamond Anniversary Book Award and the 2017 African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award, both from the National Communication Association.

Abstract: “Mourning King: Memory, black rage, and the shaping of Black Power”

This essay looks at the way in which Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination was used as a rhetorical resource of black rage to help shape the direction of the Black Power movement in 1968. Using the speeches and autobiographies of Black Power leaders, I argue that King’s assassination provided context and clarity for the Black Power movement, justifying a more militant and assertive identity for black activists working in opposition to an increasingly hostile federal government. King’s own militancy on Vietnam near the end of his life, shaped in large part by the Black Power movement, allowed Black Power leaders to mobilize King’s memory in the service of the North American Third World Left.

Nicholas Jon Crane

Nicholas Jon Crane is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Wyoming, where he teaches courses in human geography. Crane’s ongoing projects are (1) an ethnography of “social disappearance” and social mobilization in central Mexico (with Dr. Oliver Hernández Lara, UAEMex), (2) an activist research project with young social justice organizers in cities across Ohio, and (3) an ethnography of youth protest and memory in Mexico City. Crane has published research articles, essays, and reviews in human geography and cultural studies, and he is the section editor for political geography in Geography Compass.

Abstract: “Mexican Transition(s) and Youth Political Engagement after 1968 in Mexico City”

Youth political engagement in central Mexico is today shaped in part by how 1968 is popularly commemorated. This relay between politics and memory has endured for nearly five decades, so that the 1968 student movement and the massacre in Tlatelolco are treated as an origin for the form and content of contentious politics today. My research suggests that youth political engagement in central Mexico is shaped by the intersection of two narratives of transition in commemorative practice: a democratic transition and a life course transition. Especially after “the return of the PRI” in 2012, young activists and organizers increasingly characterize Mexico’s democratic transition as a consolidation of authoritarian neoliberalism, and represent “inheritors” of 1968 as natural antagonists of the order yielded by that transition. Narratives of democratic transition accordingly shape young people’s transitions to becoming adults, with young activists inheriting an apparently timeless antagonism with the state that structures political life.

Stephen Donadio

Stephen Donadio is the Fulton Professor of Humanities and director of the Program in Literary Studies at Middlebury College, and a longtime member of the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English. He has written on a wide variety of cultural topics and for 20 years served as editor of the New England Review. In 1968, he was an instructor at Columbia, where he witnessed at first hand the developments that brought the university to a standstill, and at that time, published personal interviews with leaders representing principal groups involved in the general protest.

Abstract: “Black Power at Columbia, 1968”

In April 1968, soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., a temporary, largely uncoordinated alliance of graduate and undergraduate students shut down operations at Columbia University and occupied its administrative offices and classroom buildings for almost a month. This generalized protest came to include virtually all segments of the university community, each with a different  motivation and a different sense of the principal issues at stake (ranging from international to local), but one thing is certain: what made the shutdown possible initially was an extremely short-lived convergence between a group of black students and a cadre of white students associated with Students for a Democratic Society. The emergence of a neighborhood racial conflict at an extremely volatile moment effectively immobilized the university administration, prolonging the occupation, intensifying resistance on all sides, and making a violent outcome more-or-less inevitable.

Duane Edwards

Duane Edwards is currently a graduate student at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. He is in his final year reading for a PhD in Sociology. He has always exhibited a keen interest in understanding the dynamics of society. He therefore studies and writes about various social issues in the Caribbean, such as development issues, ethnic conflict, stratification, gender, and social institutions. Consequently, he contributes to a number of conferences and academic publications.

Abstract: What Happens When We Stop Dreaming? Accounting for the waning of post-independence radicalism

During the independence period of the 1960s in the English speaking Caribbean, radical thinking and action dominated the socio-political landscape. These expressed themselves through competing approaches to social action and change, with each also subjecting the ideological trappings of power to uncompromising critical analyses. The post-independence period has seen a gradual evanescence of this radicalism without accomplishing the dreams of political freedom and economic equality that animated the revolutionary spirit of the period. In fact, empirical works have shown that economic inequality has increased tremendously, political culture has degenerated, and social action is directed more towards market defined goals than towards age-tested moral ideals. This paper explores two epistemologies of social action and social change: the first underpins the praxis of Walter Rodney, and the second is explicit in the post-colonial imaginary of Wilson Harris. I argue that the isolationist, exclusivist, and competitive nature of these modes of critique are partially responsible for the waning revolutionary spirit. The recovery of radicalism necessitates a practical critique capable of piercing through the enchantment and hegemony of late capitalism and of mobilizing the victims of this hegemony.

Matthew Galway

Matthew Galway is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former lecturer at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on intellectual history more broadly, and how Communist movements in Southeast Asia imported, adapted, and made use of Maoism, specifically (making the foreign make sense, so to speak). His current project is on the Paris-Phnom Penh connection of networked individuals who, after converting to Communism and joining the Parti Communiste Français (French Communist Party) in the 1950s, wrote Maoist-charged doctoral dissertations in economics that became foundational national texts of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979).

Abstract: “‘A New Storm against Imperialism’: Global Maoism and communism in Southeast Asia before and after 1968”

“Chairman Mao is the great liberator of the world’s revolutionary people” proclaimed a 1968 Chinese Communist Party propaganda poster. Emphasis on Mao’s global significance was not uncommon during the Cultural Revolution, and the year in which CCP propagandists released this poster was strategic. 1968 marked a major turning point for many communist parties across the globe, with many engaging Maoism in their anti-imperialist struggles. Mao long sought to export the Chinese revolution to the world as a global model for waging national revolution and socialist transformation. By 1968, only three years after the Seventeen Years period (1949-1965), China’s outreach to communist movements was paying dividends. This paper focuses on three case studies (Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia) for which 1968 was a turning point, arguing that by 1968 Maoism constituted the ideological basis of all three communist movements. It takes a genealogical approach to uncovering the processes whereby Maoism emerged in Cambodian, Filipino, and Indonesian intellectual circles before 1968 and figured into their movements thereafter. This empirical study thus seeks to contribute to a better understanding of radical thought across geographic and cultural bounds.

Todd Gitlin

Todd Gitlin, a writer, sociologist, communications scholar, and novelist, is the author of sixteen books, including Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street. He is now a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the PhD program in communications at Columbia University. Earlier, he held positions at the University of California, Berkeley, New York University, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the American Academy in Berlin, and Yale University, among many others worldwide. In the 1960s, he was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project, during which time he 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.

Abstract: ”The Ambiguous Consequences of Failed Revolutions”

The multiple uprisings of 1968 challenged authorities, heralding new freedoms, equalities, and solidarities, even a reconciliation between human beings and nature. As a result, many institutions were reformed, many liberations celebrated, many lives saved and changed. The wars in Southeast Asia lost momentum (though it still took many bloody years to get the U. S. to leave Vietnam). For more than a decade, other wars were averted. But many leading insurgents, grabbing hand-me-down costumes from historical closets, mistook joyously angry revolts for revolutionary situations. A panicked capitalism stabilized and regrouped around consumerist individualism. There were many confusions about what would constitute legitimate grounds of authority. A new order was powerless to be born. We live with the residues and unintended consequences—the unnerving coexistence of freer lives and nativist backlash.

Andrew Hannon

Andrew Green Hannon is a recent graduate of Yale University’s American Studies Program. His research focuses on political actors and the performance of power in the American Counterculture and the New Left. His most recent article is “Hippie Is a Transnational Identity: Australian and American Countercultures and the London OZ”published in the Australasian Journal of American Studies. He currently lectures in the Labor Studies Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Abstract: “Acting Out: Performative politics in the age of the New Left and the counterculture” 

This paper focuses on the avant-garde theater troupe the Living Theatre and its impact on the development of a performative politics, an expanding repertoire of political action that draws upon the ideas of everyday life as performance. In 1968, the Living Theatre returned from a years-long exile in Europe to find a cultural revolution in progress in the United States. In their performance of Paradise Now they demanded that audience members transform themselves from passive observers to active participants, calling on all to take responsibility in a moment of crisis. This was a direct engagement with the problem of the bystander, being investigated in the same year through the Columbia University sociological experiment “The Smoke-Filled Room.” This growing awareness of social roles and the power of everyday performance within the broader society reflected the changes that the ideas and tactics of avant-garde theater had wrought.

Estelle Kouokam Magne

Estelle Kouokam Magne holds a PhD in social anthropology from University of Aix-Marseille I, France, and is a lecturer at the Catholic University of Central Africa. She is currently coordinating the “Gender and Military” National Working Group  funded by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. Her research interests are gender, politics, health, nutrition, and religion.

Abstract: “Rebuilding the Puzzle: Cameroonian cultural construction from 1968 to the present”

Today Cameroon is facing the great issues of its double colonial legacy: French and British. After its independence in 1960, Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon, took actions to consolidate his power. In 1968, two major strategies were used: magnifying the reunited Cameroonian culture and defining politically the Cameroonian nationality through the Cameroonian code of nationality. Through a social and historical approach, this paper aims to analyze the anglophone movements in Cameroon as a legacy of an old quest of people’s freedom and rights from 1968. The first part will address the political institutionalization of culture in the construction of nationalism in post-independence period. The coexistence of two educative institutionalized cultures will be the second part. The third part will focus on the construction of the Cameroonian political identity as a staging of the political unity of Cameroon. It will end with a social and historical examination that can help understand contemporary issues regarding this country generally called “Africa in miniature.” 

Jamie McCallum

Jamie McCallum is an assistant professor of sociology at Middlebury College. His book, Global Unions, Local Power, won the best book award from the American Sociological Association in 2014. His academic work focuses on work, labor, and social movements. 

Abstract: “From Liberation to Recuperation: The legacy of Paris 1968 on Seattle 1999”

This talk will highlight the historical ligature between the May 1968 uprisings and the Seattle 1999 protests that inspired the US wing of the alterglobalization movement. It will also argue that some of the same forces inadvertently set in motion by the Left in ‘68 also sowed the seeds of the New New Left’s demise two years after Seattle. This talk examines various explanations for the rise and decline of the alterglobalization movement–9/11, repertoire exhaustion, shift to an antiwar frame–and offers an alternative narrative that emphasizes the recuperation of movement themes into mainstream political and economic discourse. If May ‘68 in some way helped set the stage for neoliberalism, what were the unintended outcomes of Seattle ‘99?

Anne Muxel

Anne Muxel is Senior CNRS Researcher based at the CEVIPOF at Sciences Po in Paris, France. She specializes in the study of political attitudes and behavior and has worked for many years on the phenomena involved in building political identities. She currently works on the relationships between young people and politics in France and beyond. Recently she has explored a new field of research focused on politics in private. Exploring family ties, couple-relationships, and friendship, using qualitative and quantitative surveys, she shows how much individuals are affectively related to politics. She has published many books and articles, in particular The New Voter in Western Europe: France and Beyond, with Bruno Cautrès (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Politics in Private: Love and Convictions in the French Political Consciousness, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Abstract: “May ’68 and the Politicization of Younger Generations in France Today”

In France, the May ‘68 movement acts as an archetypal background and a kind of political myth of the specific ways in which younger generations were politicized at the time. More broadly, it also provides a key to understand the specific nature of French left-wing protest political culture. Nowadays, “Révolution 68” remains in the collective memory, serving as a reference point across the spectrum of social, cultural and political debate, whether there is agreement or disagreement with its spirit, goals, and consequences. Clearly, May ‘68 symbolizes an iconic form of contestation in French society from both an ideological (revolutionary) and concrete (political action) perspective and continues to divide the people and politicians of France.

This paper will discuss the dynamics of legacy and change through a process of intergenerational political socialization post-1968

Shannon O’Sullivan

Shannon O’Sullivan is an assistant professor of communication studies at Green Mountain College. She earned her doctorate in media studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2017. During her time at CU, she also completed graduate certificates in comparative ethnic studies and women and gender studies. She received her MA in American studies from the University at Buffalo in 2011, and her BA in journalism with a dual concentration in history from Buffalo State College in 2009. Her interdisciplinary research interests focus on investigating the relationships between media, public policies, and the reproduction and resistance of social injustices.

Abstract: “From Raising a Fist in 1968 to Taking a Knee in 2016: How US media discourses frame African-American athletes’ calls for racial justice”

During the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began silently protesting racial injustice and police brutality during pregame performances of the national anthem. The recent NFL player-led protests and 200-meter sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s demonstrations in 1968 serve as flashpoints for understanding the intertwined, evolving, and messy relationships between racism, nationalism, and imperialism in the US context. This paper explores the systems of power that remain embedded within media approaches to these peaceful, anthem-related acts of resistance. Through the theoretical lens of media framing, this paper explores mainstream US newspaper reportage of these landmark protests, including ongoing analysis of Carlos and Smith’s legacy since 1968. Using critical discourse analysis, this examination situates major US print media reactions to these demonstrations in relation to the wider sociopolitical currents and contexts surrounding them, in which both lines of continuity and points of departure emerge.

Linus Owens

Linus Owens is a professor of sociology at Middlebury College. He studies political protest, including urban squatting movements and student activism. He is currently working on a project looking at the role of travel and mobility for activists. In his spare time, he is writing a book on Halloween.

Abstract: “Two, three, many Columbias” or One too Many San Francisco States? Remembering the 1968 student protests

1968 was a year of the student protester. In the spring, students occupied Columbia to protest the school’s role in the war and its segregationist policies. Across the country, San Francisco State College students engaged in the longest student strike in US history, demanding a curriculum better suited to a more diverse student body, achieving many demands but only after a five-month strike. The Columbia protest generated enormous attention at the time, becoming a symbol of student protest in a radicalized era. The SFSC strike, despite widespread attention at the time, has largely been forgotten today. How we remember student protests of 1968 affects how we respond to student protest today, with the ignored SFSC action providing a better lens for thinking about today’s student protest, even while the Columbia model continues to dominate the conversation, whether as nostalgia for the past or warning for the future.

Elena Razlogova

Elena Razlogova is an associate professor of history at Concordia University in Montréal. She is the author of The Listener’s Voice: Early Radio and the American Public (2011) and co-editor of “Radical Histories in Digital Culture” an issue of Radical History Review (2013). She has published articles on U.S. radio history, music recommendation algorithms, and film translation in the Soviet Union. She was an executive producer on a digital project Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives. She is currently working on a history of simultaneous film translation and transnational networks at Soviet film festivals.

Abstract: “The Variants of 1968 Radicalism: Ousmane Sembene and Larisa Shepitko”

This paper uses two moments, the 1967 International Moscow Film Festival and the 1975 UNESCO Symposium on Women’s Cinema, and the careers of two film directors, Senegalese Ousmane Sembene and Ukrainian Larisa Shepitko, to show how Third and Second World activists mobilized seemingly irreconcilable variants of radicalism circulating around the 1968 moment—postcolonial, feminist, and Soviet dissident politics. In different ways, Sembene and Shepitko critically negotiated geopolitical roles assigned to them by states and political movements. Sembene used his Soviet film training, connections, and financial support to further his pan-African organizing. Shepitko deployed her Western label of a “woman director” to articulate Soviet dissident—and gender—politics to feminist and leftist radicals in Western Europe and North America. Their two intersecting journeys allow us to imagine a common critical discourse that would take advantage of variants of radicalism across historical and contemporary West, (Post-)Soviet “East,” and Global South.

Jorge Luis P. Rodrigues

Jorge Luís P. Rodrigues, also known as Jorge Caê Rodrigues, is currently a professor of cultural production at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio de Janeiro. He is the author of the books Fatal Years: Design, Music and Tropicalism; and Identity Impressions: A Look at the Gay Press in Brazil. He holds a degree in visual communication from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, a bachelor’s degree in arts education from the Bennett Institute, a master’s degree in design from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and a PhD in comparative literature from the Fluminense Federal University (2007).

Abstract: Performing Gender in the “Anos de Chumbo”: Identity, Ambiguity and Counterculture

In the early years of the Brazilian military government, the artistic movement Tropicália led to specific changes in the Brazilian art scene. Tropicália expressed a panorama of changes and entanglements, and influenced the behavior and feelings of a whole generation. It opened new avenues for the art scene, particularly inspiring new discussion about the Brazilian imagination, and for the first time addressing issues of gender and sexuality. This project aims to map topics such as gender and sexuality that have been addressed in Brazilian popular music and in the graphic design of the covers of LPs and CDs. The research aims to deepen the studies on gender using queer theory and its discussion on gender and corporeality, drawing a parallel between American pop music production and the Brazilian scene in recent decades.

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