Module HSH-3147:
Politics&Culture in the 1960s

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

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.

Course content

  1. General Introduction
  2. Setting the framework: themes and interpretations of the ‘revolutionary decade’
  3. De-Stalinisation and change in Eastern Europe
  4. Rise of the ‘New Left’ in Britain
  5. Cultural critiques in the West
  6. Decolonisation and its impacts on France
  7. Film screening with introduction and discussion: Pontecorvi, A. The battle of Algiers. France/Italy 1966.
  8. Protests against the Vietnam War and the Cold War
  9. France, 1968: Student and workers’ revolt
  10. Essay preparation: 'surgery' meeting
  11. The Sixties in authoritarian Spain and Greece
  12. Italy, 1968-69: Student and worker protests
  13. Individual tutorials
  14. ‘Failed denazification’ and generational conflict in West Germany and Europe
  15. Radicalisation and Conservative Reactions in West Germany
  16. The Civil Rights movement in Europe
  17. Local specificities and global connections: Civil Rights in Northern Ireland
  18. Yugoslavia: reform and dissent
  19. Czechoslovakia: youth lifestyles, the Prague Spring and the 'normalisation'
  20. ‘New wave’ cinema in 1960s Czechoslovakia
  21. Women’s Liberation in Britain and the US
  22. Feminism in continental Europe
  23. The homosexual liberation movement across Europe
  24. Shift to top-down organisations? The Maoists in Western Europe
  25. Terrorism
  26. Beyond the cities: the first stirrings of the green movement
  27. Migrants and protest in the long Sixties
  28. ‘1968’ and the politics of memory
  29. Individual tutorials
  30. Revision and exam preparation

Assessment Criteria

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.

excellent

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.

threshold

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.

good

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.

Learning outcomes

  1. An understanding of the origins and nature of the socio-economic, cultural and political changes in Europe in the long 1960s

  2. The ability to critically discuss the main historiographical debates on the origins and meaning of the 1960s

  3. An understanding of the interpretations of the lasting legacy of the 1960s in European culture

  4. The critical discussion and contextualisation of primary sources; the ability to distinguish between different types of sources, and the demonstration of the ability to read texts on different levels

  5. Familiarity with the specific conditions in a number of key countries and the ability to meaningfully compare different cases across Eastern and Western Europe

  6. The ability to present a piece of primary and secondary source based research in the form of a seminar presentation and discussion, or an essay.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
AURAL Oral presentation

Please choose any of the topics you will find at the beginning of each weekly session. Your presentation should be accompanied by both a 1-page handout, which should include the structure and the main points of the presentation, as well as some reading suggestions, and a Powerpoint presentation. The presentation should last for around 15 minutes and will be followed by discussion. Please bear in mind that oral presentations are supposed to be addressed to fellow students. They should benefit from them. Try to explain the subject matter with great clarity. Important points to keep in mind for your presentation are the following: a) key events and b) historical research on the topic you have chosen. Finally, the assessment criteria for your presentation are: Delivery of presentation, coherence of presentation and argument, quality and usefulness of handout, accuracy and choice of information and awareness of historical context and of any historiographical issues.

10
ESSAY Essay

An assessed essay (circa 4,000 words) based on primary sources (25%): The essay will test knowledge and understanding concerning the interpretation of specific primary sources, your ability to set these into a wider context and embed your interpretation in a larger argument. It must involve the use of some of the designated primary sources. Moreover, you must engage with relevant historiography.

25
EXAM Open-book, take-home exam

You will have 12 hours to answer the questions from the moment these are revealed to you. You may use any primary and secondary sources that you wish and you may find yourselves wherever you like during these 12 hours. One half of this exam is based on primary sources: questions will consist of primary sources, either entire or passages from them. We will have discussed these sources during semester 1 or 2. The section will require comments on 3 primary sources. Comments will be graded by considering the the ability to set passages in context and to critically reflect on their content, namely to analyse how they can help historians understand aspects of the subject and/or can be used in historiographical debates. Comments will be expected to demonstrate a precise knowledge of the context of the passage; to focus tightly on the significance of the precise passage set (and not drift into general comment on the document from which it was drawn); to reflect upon their qualities as historical evidence; and to demonstrate how the source could be used as part of a historical argument (for example how it helps to judge between interpretations). You should definitely NOT simply summarise what is mentioned in the source. The other half of the exam is based on general module content: questions in this section will demand general essays that demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of radical politics and cultural change in Europe during the long 1960s. Since this is an open-book exam, you will be expected not only to reconstruct the key arguments of historians working on this topic, but, also, to critically interrogate them and offer your opinion on the potential and shortcomings of diverse works.

50
WRITTEN PLAN Essay plan and annotated bibliography

Please prepare an essay plan, based on the question you have chosen for your essay. This should clearly outline: a) Your main line of argument b) the structure of your essay (namely the sections it will contain) and c) a brief description of the main ideas that appear in 8-10 articles or books you will use for your essay.

15

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Private study

340
Seminar

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:

  1. Read the texts listed under ‘Compulsory secondary reading’. Texts will be provided via Blackboard.
  2. Read the primary sources listed under ‘set documents’. These will be discussed in detail. Documents will be provided via Blackboard. Please note that passages drawn from the set documents will form the subject of the ‘sources’ section in the final exam, and that it is therefore essential that all students study the documents closely. As you read the documents, consider their relevance to the topic and try to relate them to the issues raised in the secondary literature and to the questions listed under ‘key questions’.
  3. Consider these questions carefully. They indicate some of the main areas to consider, and will provide a backbone for discussion. The questions also give some indication of the type of questions that will be asked in the general examination.
60

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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

  1. Ability to closely analyse and interpret large and detailed bodies of different kinds of primary sources.
  2. Ability to analyse and construct arguments (in seminars, essays and exams).
  3. Clear and effective communication (oral in seminars, written in essays and exams).
  4. Skills of tolerant debate, balanced discussion and evidence-based presentation (in seminars).

Resources

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.

Reading list

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: