Politics&Culture in the 1960s
Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Nikolaos Papadogiannis
Overall aims and purpose
This Special Subject examines the origins, nature and lasting impacts of the radical social, cultural and political changes in West and East European societies during the “long 1960s” (ca. 1956 – 1974). The main aim of this module is to encourage students to critically interrogate a North/South and East/West divide in Europe. Thus, despite important differences in political condition across the continent, it will probe whether similar cultural developments occurred throughout Europe- and across the “Iron Curtain”. The second main aim is to inspire students to reflect on ways in which cultural developments and radical politics intersected in the period in question.
An indicative list of the topics that this module will cover is the following:
- General Introduction
- Setting the framework: themes and interpretations of the ‘revolutionary decade’. Part 1
- Setting the framework: themes and interpretations of the ‘revolutionary decade’. Part 2
- De-Stalinisation and change in Eastern Europe
- Decolonisation and its impacts on France
- Protests against the Vietnam War and the Cold War
- France, 1968: Student and workers’ revolt
- The Sixties in authoritarian Spain and Greece
- Italy, 1968-69: Student and worker protests
- ‘Failed denazification’ and generational conflict in West Germany and the rest of Europe
- Surgery session
- Radicalisation and Conservative Reactions in West Germany
- Migrants and protest in the long Sixties in West Germany and France
- The Civil Rights movement in West Germany
- “In search of memories” session
- Local specificities and global connections: Civil Rights in Northern Ireland
- Yugoslavia: reform and dissent
- Czechoslovakia: youth lifestyles, the Prague Spring and the ‘normalisation’
- The Feminist and the homosexual liberation movement of the 1970s
- Surgery session and essay preparation and quiz on the Sixties
and 2 drop-in sessions
C- to C+
C+ (58%) Work will receive a C+ mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains partially superficial; covers the important aspects of the relevant field, but in some places lacks depth; advances a coherent and relevant argument; employs some evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only a few or no mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient.
C (55%) Work will receive a C mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains superficial; covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth; advances a coherent and largely relevant argument; employs some limited evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only limited mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, contain some mistakes or be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient.
C- (52%) Work will receive a C- mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but little knowledge of in-depth studies (for first-year work the student may not have read beyond a few standard works; at second or third year the student may not have read a good selection of journal articles and specialist monographs); covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth or misses a significant area (for second- and third-year work this may mean that it fails to deploy the historical details found in specialist literature); advances a coherent, and sometimes relevant argument, but drifts away from tackling the task in hand (for example, by ordering the argument in an illogical way, becoming distracted by tangential material, or lapsing into narrative of only partial pertinence); usually employs evidence to back its points, but occasionally fails to do so or deploys an insufficient range; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways, but may fail to get to the heart of the central scholarly debate or fully understand a key point (in second- and third-year work this may extend to a failure to discuss important subtleties or ambiguities in the evidence, or to a lack of awareness of the current state of historical debate); is reasonably well presented and contains appropriate references and bibliography, but makes some mistakes in presentation or appropriate use.
A+ (87%) At this level, first-class work will also have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail, but will further deploy the evidence consistently accurately and give indications of deploying unexpected primary and secondary sources. It will habitually demonstrate a particularly acute and critical awareness of the historiography, including conceptual approaches, and give a particularly impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It will show a particularly sophisticated approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. It will be original work. The standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently first-class work. In essays standards of presentation will be very high.
A (80%) At this level, first-class work will have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail. It will usually also demonstrate an acute awareness of historiography, and give an impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. Overall, the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently superior to top upper-second work. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be high.
A- (74%) A first-class mark at this level is often earned simply by demonstrating one or more of the features of a good upper-second essay to a peculiar degree, for example presenting a particularly strong organization of argument, strong focus, wide range of reading, engagement with the historiography, depth of understanding, an unobjectionable style, and strong presentation.
B+ (68%) Work will receive a B+ mark if it is consistently strong in: covering the necessary ground in depth and detail; advancing a well structured, relevant, and focused argument; analysis and deployment of an appropriate range of historical evidence and consideration of possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.
B (65%) Work will receive a B mark if it: is clear that it is based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in depth and detail; advances a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.
B- (62%) Work will receive a B- mark if it: is clearly based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in some depth and detail; advances a properly-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.
D+ (48%) Work is marked D+ if it: shows evidence of acceptable amounts of reading, but does not go much beyond what was referenced in lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers much of the necessary ground but fails to discuss one or a few vital aspects of a topic; deploys relevant material but partly fails to combine it into a coherent whole, or sustains a clear argument only for the greater part of the piece; deploys some evidence to support individual points, but sometimes fails to do so, or shows difficulty in weighing evidence, or chooses unreliable evidence; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but without devoting sustained discussion to this; is for the most part correctly presented but has sections where there are serious problems in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but occasionally misunderstands their appropriate use or makes mistakes in their presentation.
D (45%) Work is marked D if it: shows evidence of an acceptable minimum of reading, based partly on lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers some of the necessary ground but fails to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; deploys some relevant material but partly fails to combine it into a coherent whole or sustains a clear argument for only some parts of the piece; deploys some evidence to support individual points but often fails to do so or shows difficulty weighing evidence or chooses unreliable, atypical or inappropriate evidence; shows some awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but the differences will not receive sustained discussion or analysis; is often correctly presented but has sections where there are serious difficulties in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but sometimes misunderstands their appropriate use or makes serious mistakes in their presentation.
D- (42%) Work is marked D- if it: shows evidence of an acceptable minimum of reading, based largely on lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers parts of the necessary ground but fails to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; deploys some potentially relevant material but fails to bring it together into a coherent whole or sustains a clear argument for only parts of the piece; occasionally deploys evidence to back some individual points but often fails to do so or shows difficulty weighing evidence or chooses unreliable, atypical, or inappropriate evidence; may show some awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but the differences will not receive sustained discussion or analysis; is in part correctly presented but has sections where there are serious difficulties in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but sometimes misunderstands their appropriate use or makes serious mistakes in their presentation.
To develop an in-depth understanding of the origins and nature of the socio-economic, cultural and political changes in Europe in the long 1960s
To develop the ability to critically discuss the main historiographical debates on the origins and meaning of the 1960s
To develop an in-depth understanding of the interpretations of the lasting legacy of the 1960s in European culture
To critically evaluate and contextualise primary sources; to develop the ability to distinguish between different types of sources, and the demonstration of the ability to read texts on different levels
To develop ability to present a piece of primary and secondary source based research in the form of a seminar presentation and discussion, or an essay.
To develop critical awareness of the specific conditions in a number of key countries and the ability to meaningfully compare different cases across Eastern and Western Europe
Teaching and Learning Strategy
There will be 20 seminars running in one semester. Each session will have two sections of 50 minutes starting at 5 minutes past the hour with a fifteen-minute break in the middle. Attendance at these sessions is both compulsory and essential for a proper understanding of the course.
Discussion in the seminars will be based on: i. the material set for each topic in this course guide ii. the series of “trigger questions” listed under each “topic” section in the booklet iii. students’ own questions about the issues under consideration
Students should prepare for classes in the following ways:
Students will have the opportunity to discuss with me questions on the seminar sessions as well as on their assessments during these tutorials. I will run them as drop-in sessions, so that they discuss with me on a one to one basis, which may encourage them to raise issues they would not in the classroom in front of the entire class.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
- understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
- being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
- producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
- planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
- marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
- demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
- demonstrating an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
- presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
- preparing effective written communications for different readerships
- making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
- making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
- making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
- collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
- appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
- critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
- Ability to closely analyse and interpret large and detailed bodies of different kinds of primary sources.
- Ability to analyse and construct arguments (in seminars, essays and exams).
- Clear and effective communication (oral in seminars, written in essays and exams).
- Skills of tolerant debate, balanced discussion and evidence-based presentation (in seminars).
Resource implications for students
Some works that are important for this module are the following: Horn, G.R., The spirit of ’68: Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976 (Oxford 2007) Klimke, M., Scharloth, J., 1968 in Europe- A History of Protest and Activism, 1956-1977 (London 2008) Marwick, A., The Sixties. Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, c. 1958-c. 1974 (Oxford 1998) Judt, T., Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 (London 2007) De Groot, J., The Sixties unplugged. A kaleidoscopic history of a disorderly decade (London 2008) A detailed bibliography will be supplied in the module handbook.
All students are advised, but not obliged, to buy a copy of Robert Gildea, James Mark and Annette Warring, Europe’s 1968. Voices of Revolt (Oxford 2013). Used copies can be ordered via amazon.co.uk and abebook.co.uk. A single copy will also be available in the library.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- 3QV1: BA History and English Literature year 3 (BA/ELH)
- P3V1: BA Film Studies and History year 3 (BA/FSH)
- V100: BA History year 3 (BA/H)
- V103: BA History and Archaeology year 3 (BA/HA)
- VV41: BA Herit, Archae & Hist year 3 (BA/HAH)
- VV42: BA Heritage, Archaeology & History with International Exp year 4 (BA/HAHIE)
- V1V9: BA History with Archaeology with International Experience year 4 (BA/HAIE)
- V1V4: BA History with Archaeology year 3 (BA/HAR)
- MVX1: BA History/Criminology year 3 (BA/HCR)
- LV11: BA History/Economics year 3 (BA/HEC)
- RV11: BA History/French year 4 (BA/HFR)
- V1W6: BA History with Film Studies year 3 (BA/HFS)
- V1W7: BA History with Film Studies with International Experience year 4 (BA/HFSIE)
- RV21: BA History/German year 4 (BA/HG)
- 8B03: BA History (with International Experience) year 4 (BA/HIE)
- RV31: BA History/Italian year 4 (BA/HIT)
- V1P5: BA History with Journalism year 3 (BA/HJ)
- VW13: BA History and Music year 3 (BA/HMU)
- V1PM: BA Hanes gyda Newyddiaduraeth year 3 (BA/HN)
- RV41: BA History/Spanish year 4 (BA/HSP)
- LVJ1: BA Cymdeithaseg/Hanes year 3 (BA/HSW)
- V140: BA Modern & Contemporary History year 3 (BA/MCH)
- WV33: Music & Hist & Welsh Hist (IE) year 4 (BA/MHIE)
- VVV1: BA Philosophy and Religion and History year 3 (BA/PRH)
- VVV2: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh History year 3 (BA/PRWH)
- LV31: BA Sociology/History year 3 (BA/SH)
- LV41: BA Social Policy/History year 3 (BA/SPH)
- LVK1: BA Polisi Cymdeithasol/Hanes year 3 (BA/SPWH)
- QV51: BA Cymraeg/History year 3 (BA/WH)
- VP23: BA Welsh History and Film Studies year 3 (BA/WHFS)
- VV12: BA Welsh History/History year 3 (BA/WHH)
- LVH2: BA Welsh History/Sociology year 3 (BA/WHS)
- V101: MArts History year 3 (MARTS/HIST)
Optional in courses:
- V104: BA Welsh History and Archaeology year 3 (BA/WHAR)