The Long 1968
Revisions and New Perspectives
Publication Year: 2013
From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, revolutions in theory, politics, and cultural experimentation swept around the world. These changes had as great a transformative impact on the right as on the left. A touchstone for activists, artists, and theorists of all stripes, the year 1968 has taken on new significance for the present moment, which bears certain uncanny resemblances to that time. The Long 1968 explores the wide-ranging impact of the year and its aftermath in politics, theory, the arts, and international relations--and its uses today.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Series: 21st Century Studies
This book grows out of a conference, “Since 1968,” organized by the Center for 21st Century Studies, University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee, from October 23 to 25, 2008, to mark the fortieth anniversary of the founding of what was then called the Center for 20th Century Studies. We would like to thank Kumkum Sangari, who, along with the four editors, helped to organize the conference; her ...
In his gripping documentary Le fond de l’air est rouge (A Grin without a Cat), the French filmmaker Chris Marker posits that the upheaval subsequently associated with 1968 actually began as a student demonstration against a visit by the shah of Iran to West Berlin and an attack on the students by the shah’s secret police in June 1967. Released in several versions over more than a decade, ...
PART 1: 1968, THE TEXT
1 Foucault’s 1968
Michel Foucault’s career as a public intellectual, his stances in words and deeds, in theory and practice, were deeply informed by the events of May 1968 and the political struggles that followed upon it. It is difficult to single out any cultural theorist or political philosopher of importance for whom May 1968 had such a decidedly dramatic impact or who was more engaged with its ...
2 Palimpsests of ’68: Theorizing Labor after Adorno
There was never enough time for ’68 to happen. Before the ideas underlying the myriad events now associated with the single explosive year 1968 could ever unfurl entirely, its actors and the greater cultural contexts in which they found themselves had already moved forward in time. The year 1968 was already over before the conceptual work ’68 set out to do ever came to fruition. ...
3 What’s Left of the Right to the City?
An undeniable legacy of 1968 is the proclamation of the right to the city. What happened in Paris, Prague, and many other cities, however, was merely the crystallization of long- existing conditions: even the concept was formulated earlier. Henri Lefebvre finished The Right to the City in 1967, on the centenary of volume 1 of Marx’s Capital, as Lefebvre himself noted, but it was not this ...
PART 2: LOCATING POLITICS
4 The Rise and Fall of an International Counterculture, 1960–1975
In The Feminine Mystique— Betty Friedan’s 1963 attack on domesticity— the author describes how she “gradually, without seeing it clearly for quite a while . . . came to realize that something is very wrong with the way American women are trying to live their lives today.”1 Despite the outward appearances of wealth and contentment, Friedan argued that the Cold War was killing ...
5 Invisible Humanism: An African 1968 and Its Aftermaths
One of the premises of this volume is that the full significance of what we call “1968” can only be grasped by attending to a wide range of ideas and events that unfolded at more or less the same time in many different locations around the world. This entails a recognition that there is not a single 1968 (with its epicenter in, for instance, Paris in May). The mood and moment of ’68, this ...
6 Pushing Luck Too Far: ’68, Northern Ireland, and Nonviolence
On October 5, 1968, police officers broke ranks to beat a small civil rights march off the streets of Derry. The young poet Seamus Heaney recognized this moment as a “watershed in the political life of Northern Ireland”: it was no longer possible to believe in “shades of grey.”1 On October 4, 2008, the commemorations marking the fortieth anniversary of the march opened in Derry’s ...
7 Mexico 1968 and the Art(s) of Memory
Like the mythical two- faced Janus, the words “Mexico 1968” conjure up two diametrically opposed historical images. For many, particularly those who reside outside Mexico, the mention of “Mexico 1968” brings memories of the XIX Olympics and of the two African American athletes who raised their black- gloved fi sts as a sign of Black Power upon receiving their medals. While ...
PART 3: BODIES, PROTEST, AND ART
8 White Power, Black Power, and the 1968 Olympic Protests
In October 1968 the Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos staged a protest that became an icon of 1960s America (figure 8.1). After placing first and third, respectively, in the Olympic men’s 200-meter race in Mexico City, each man mounted the medal stand with an “Olympic Project for Human Rights” button pinned to his track jacket, black socks displayed prominently by ...
9 Bodies Count: The Sixties Body in American Politics
Historical discussions of feminism in the United States typically locate post-1968 women’s liberation as the origin of a new politics of the body in post– World War II American political discourse. By making the personal, especially the sexual and the reproductive, political, women’s liberationists redefined how the socially constructed body was understood. Constrained by male ...
10 Beginning 9 Evenings
Its ambition was matched only by its scale: 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering was a colossal enterprise, a per for mance series that lasted, appropriately, nine evenings in October 1966 in New York and was attended by over ten thousand people. Thirty engineers from the AT&T Bell Laboratories campus in Murray Hill, New Jersey, worked together with ten artists; their fervent struggles ...
11 Sensorial Techniques of the Self: From the Jouissance of May ’68 to the Economy of the Delay
Without elevating the French revolts of May 1968 to the status of mythical events that can be neither captured nor repeated, it is apparent that their power to connote new forms of governance and subjectivization has not waned. Especially in the last de cade, contemporary art practitioners, such as Olafur Eliasson, have harnessed the participatory, demo cratic discourse that ...
PART 4: 1968, THE MOVIE
12 Tempered Nostalgia in Recent French Films on the ’68 Years
The representational heterogeneity of 1968 is self- evident. The events of that year were multiple; they advocated multiplicity, generated countless instant accounts, and have been interpreted and polemicized in a myriad of ways. Film is a fitting form for reckoning with the sixties as a whole and 1968 in particular not only because impressions of 1968 at the time and since have trafficked ...
13 Rhetorics of Resistance: The Port Huron Project
When I started teaching at Brown University in 2005, I was surprised by how little antiwar protest there was on campus. Brown has a long history of student activism: the eruptions of 1968 culminated in Brown’s adoption of progressive new curriculum drafted by students, and in 1985 students erected shanties and staged hunger strikes to protest the university’s investments in companies doing ...