In the 1960s, social movements pushed democracy in new directions, overturned social roles, challenged accepted forms of representation, and redefined the very meaning of politics. Remarkably, despite enormous national differences, movements in different counties did not unfold in isolation from another, but were in constant dialogue. Not only did young activists from Berkeley to Beijing read the same texts, mobilize the same symbols, and claim to share the same aspirations, they learned from each other through a number of dense, overlapping, transnational networks. This course investigates the transnational social, political, and cultural contestations of the 1960s. Students will not only study how the 1960s unfolded in different national contexts, but the ways in which that decade was itself the product of transnational flows of ideas, symbols, people, strategies, and movements. At the same time, we will see how the 1960s served as the pivot of a much longer period, stretching from the mid-1950s to the very late 1970s. In situating the 1960s in this broader timeframe, students will consider why this wave of contestation first emerged, how it changed over time, and why it ultimately receded in the 1970s. Together, we aim to determine exactly how the 1960s were transnational, whether simultaneous events were coincidental or planned, and the ways in which the legacies of this wave of protest have informed today’s political conjuncture. **Note: Students may receive credit for completion of the required geographic region addressed in their research papers.**
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