BPALC Symposium (Fall 2018-Spring 2019):
The ‘60s at 50: Reflections on America a Half-Century Later

The year 1968 has come to stand as a symbolic representative for the entirety of the tumultuous period of conflict, contestation, and change in American society that was the 1960s. In that year alone, Americans witnessed
• the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War,
• the startling decision by the sitting President, Lyndon B. Johnson, not to seek re-election,
• the student insurrection at Columbia University,
• the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy,
• the violent clashes between protesters and police in the streets of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention,
• the Black Power gesture of American athletes at the Mexico City Olympics,
• and the election to the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

A half century after this symbolically rich though tortured year, we are planning a symposium dedicated to a reconsideration of the political, social, and cultural legacy of the American 1960s. We will offer to the community a series of conversations in which nationally known speakers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds with established records of scholarship related to the legacy of the ‘60s explore this topic in conversation with members of our own faculty.

The invited speakers represent significantly differing and even conflictual perspectives on the ‘60s, as do the Bucknell faculty members who will be in dialogue with them. Making sense of something as complex and disputed as the legacy of the 1960s on American society requires many different voices, many different disciplinary perspectives, many different political viewpoints. The format for each event is a civil but intensive intellectual conversation. Our intent is to provide information about the consequences of the 1960s to the community, but also to model the civil argumentative exchange between individuals with different perspectives that adheres to the academic virtues and values we cherish at Bucknell.

Listen to a discussion of the series on WVIA radio.

The schedule of guests is as follows:

October 18, 2018
Todd Gitlin (Columbia) author of The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage

(Sponsored by the Office of the President, the University Lectureship Committee, and the Howard I. Scott Chair, and supported by the Department of Sociology/Anthropology and the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy)

November 8, 2018
Mark Bauerlein (Emory University), author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)

(Sponsored by the Office of the President and the Howard I. Scott Chair in Global Commerce, Strategy and Leadership)

November 27, 2018
Mark Moyar (USAID), author of Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War 1954-1965

January 31, 2019
Charles Kesler (Claremont McKenna College), author of I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism

February 14, 2019
June Carbone (University of Minnesota Law School), co-author of Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture

March 28, 2019
Glenn Loury (Brown University), author of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality

All events will begin at 7 pm in Bucknell Hall.

BPALC will be producing an edited book collection based on the symposium, featuring a chapter on each of the six invited guests with an introduction framing the collection.

The ‘60s at 50 Film Series

We are also organizing a film series connected to the symposium, with five screenings at the Campus Theatre that will be preceded by introductory remarks from Bucknell faculty.

Films and dates are as follows:

September 26: The Graduate (1967)
October 24: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
November 28: We Were Soldiers (2002)
February 2: Easy Rider (1969)
March 20: Gimme Shelter (1970)

More information on these screenings will be found on the Campus Theatre’s webpage: https://www.campustheatre.org/full-calendar

Gitlin poster

Bauerlein poster