- A Revolution of Perception? Consequences and Echoes of 1968 ed. by Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey
A Revolution of Perception? contributes to scholarship on 1968, a year that marked a historical and political but also cultural, linguistic, and sociological shift. The volume is based on a conference held in 2009 at Oxford [End Page 446] University and edited by Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, a professor of history at Bielefeld University, who has published a number of studies of 1968, including 1968: Eine Zeitreise (Frankfurt, 2008), Die 68er Bewegung: Deutschland—Westeuropa—USA (Munich, 2001), and ‘‘Die Phantasie an die Macht:’’ Mai 68 in Frankreich (Frankfurt, 1995).
In her introduction, Gilcher-Holtey states that the volume’s eight studies are ‘‘[n]ot linked by a common analytical referential frame but by a leading research question: has the 1968 movement had an impact on the schemes of perception and classification, on the criteria of vision and division of the social world?’’ (7). The volume opens with Hennig Marmulla’s analysis of a book planned but never written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger about his time in Cuba in 1968 and 1969. Marmulla also considers the role of Enzensberger’s time in Cuba and of the Third World for his publication Kursbuch, which launched in 1965. Steffen Bruendel examines two publications in Britain, The Black Dwarf and The Red Mole, and their circulation between 1968 and 1973. He shows how Britain was involved in international solidarity movements, an insight that revises previously held notions. Bruendel cites four major factors that underscore the internationalism of the publications and thus, by extension, of Britain at the time: The role of individuals on the editorial board, such as Tariq Ali, who themselves had a migratory background; the movements of peoples from the United Kingdom’s previous colonies or the commonwealth to Britain; the content of the two publications; and finally, the travel of people active in various movement organizations or actions to and from England.
In his article, Aribert Reimann examines Dieter Kunzelmann’s letters from Amman, Jordan, and takes up the issue of anti-Zionism among the New Left. Reimann argues that ‘‘the chronology of the emergence of the pro-Palestinian solidarity movement among [West] German students suggest no long-term agenda of left-wing anti-Semitism among the New Left’’ (71). ‘‘The appropriation of anti-Zionism into the 1960s’ politics of protest had,’’ Reimann states, ‘‘little to do with any long-standing tradition of left-wing anti-Semitism, but understood the Middle-East—however mistakenly—as yet another example of violent resistance against Western imperialism’’ (77).
The volume’s second part grapples with history, sociology, and linguistics as well as how 1968 ‘‘has altered discourses, identities, academic perspectives and language’’ (10). Meike Vogel examines how West German public television coverage depicted protests, focusing in particular on how ‘‘images, designations and interpretations . . . promoted a number of dominant interpretive frames,’’ which in turn determined ‘‘how . . . topics and issues were addressed’’ (92). While the demand for Ruhe und Ordnung cast the students as unruly, inversely the characterization of some of the movement as playful sought to undermine their serious political commitment. These [End Page 447] frames, she rightly argues, not only determined perceptions at the time but also had a lasting impact on narratives about 1968. Petra Terhoeven focuses on the perception of the Red Army Faction in Italy in the 1970s. She considers in particular how the German Autumn was depicted in Italian media, such as La Repubblica and Lotta Continua, and received in Italy.
In her article, Kristina Schulz engages the diverging approaches to the women’s movements coming out of 1968: ‘‘Whereas some commentators insist on the influence of 1968, others deny the catalytic effect of the protest wave in this area. . . . The first assumes that female activists’ transition from one movement to another was self-evident. . . . The second position denies that the 1968 protest movement has any impact on the 1970s women’s liberation movement’’ (124). In particular, she considers ‘‘the ‘revolution’ in everyday life [and] in child...