Symposium on 1968 and its Legacies

In May and June 2018, King’s College London will host six workshops, film screenings, and a symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the progressive mass protests of 1968.The symposium will bring together a large number of high-profile activists who were ‘ringleaders’ of the protests as well as artists and filmmakers who broke new ground in the accompanying counterculture. Their roundtable discussions and presentations will be accompanied by a number of panels, consisting of papers by established and emerging scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, focused on the theme of ‘1968 and its legacies’.

We invite proposals for twenty minute papers on any aspect of the politics of protest or counterculture circa 1968. Papers may address any international context, bearing in mind that the timing of events in the late 1960s varied from place to place and that those events continue to exert widespread influence today. Examples of broad themes which proposals might address include:

  • the history and geography of political protest in specific environments circa 1968, whether city, town, or countryside
  • the documentation of lesser-known movements or protests circa 1968, or of new evidence pertaining to well-known examples
  • the examination of state and corporate responses to mass protest circa 1968
  • artistic, musical, and literary responses to 1968, during the era and since
  • media and pop culture portrayals of 1968 and mass protest
  • the interaction of political protest, counterculture, and the avant garde circa 1968
  • the effects of 1968 on various professional and academic fields
  • how 1968 has shaped, and was shaped by, identity politics, from civil rights and feminism to LGBTQ equality
  • political radicalization during and after 1968
  • the relationship between 1968 and neoliberalism, neoconservatism, the alt right and far right
  • the influence of 1968 on the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, or other recent leftist movements

This is by no means an exhaustive list of angles that will be addressed, but a rough indication of the wide-ranging discussion and debate we hope the symposium will generate.

We are honoured to announce that participants in the symposium will include Tariq Ali, Jochen Gerz, Juliet Mitchell, Mark Rudd, and Allan Siegel, with others to be confirmed shortly.

For consideration, please submit your proposal by 5pm GMT on Friday, December 1st, 2017. Your proposal must consist of an abstract of not more than 300 words, an indicative bibliography of up to five primary and/or secondary sources, and your brief bio of no more 150 words. Please combine these elements in one document (Microsoft Word or equivalent) and send it as an email attachment to 1968@kcl.ac.uk. We aim to announce decisions on the acceptance or rejection of proposals by Friday, December 15th, 2017.

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