The Tumultuous Sixties: 1968 Around The Globe

In 1964, the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley achieved national visibility with a series of student protests responding to the administration’s decision to ban information tables regarding the Civil Rights Movement. They mark the first time that the civil disobedience tactics of the Civil Rights Movement were brought to a college campus and served as a foundation for future protests such as those against the Vietnam War.

While student protests gained momentum in the U.S., protest movements were also on the rise throughout Western Europe. They reached their culmination in the year 1968, a watershed year that brought about radical political and social changes throughout the world. The beginning of these movements can be traced back to the post-Second World War-era of the 1950s.  The significance of the protest movements of this period varied according to the historical context of each country. In West Germany, for instance, the student uprising was the first time that a younger generation confronted its elders and questioned their role during the 12 years of Nazi dictatorship; in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America protests focused on decolonization.  

In this public lecture, Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley, Christina Gerhardt, will contextualize the tumultuous sixties in post-war society and politics, its importance for the US and Western European countries as well as its alignment with international liberation and solidarity movements. She will also address the question of how and why the protest movements of the sixties are still relevant today.

About the speaker:

Christina Gerhardt is Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley and Associate Professor of Film and German Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

She is author of Screening the Red Army Faction: Historical and Cultural Memory (Bloomsbury, 2018), about which Kristin Ross wrote: “This informative and well-documented study of the changing representations of the Red Army Faction is a welcome model for how to go about de-provincializing our understanding of the post-war German experience.”

Related to the topic of 1968, she has co-edited the following publications: 1968 and Global Cinema (Wayne State UP, 2018); Celluloid Revolt: German Screen Cultures and the Long 1968 (Camden House, 2019); and 1968 and West German Cinema, a special issue of The Sixties 10 (2017).

She has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, the Free University in Berlin and at Columbia University and at the University of California at Berkeley, where she taught previously.

Her writing has been published in the journals Cineaste, Film Criticism, Film Quarterly, German Studies Review, Humanities, Mosaic, New German Critique, Quarterly Review of Film and Video and The Sixties.

Light refreshments will be served.