Since 1968: Overview

Since 1968: A Center for 21st Century Studies 40th Anniversary Conference

October 23-25, 2008

If what historians might call a long 1968–the period from the mid-1960s to the early ’70s–gave rise to new epicenters of theory, including original Marxist and feminist paradigms; artistic experimentation and new cultural forms, in music, visual art, and literature; and explosive protest movements around the world, the reaction to these developments arguably had as great a transformative impact on the right as on the left. 1968 has remained a touchstone for activists, artists, and theorists of all stripes, and has taken on new significance at the present moment, which bears certain uncanny resemblances to the earlier time. “Since 1968” especially seeks to explore the uses, in several senses of the term, of 1968 today.

Thus the conference asks: what are the parallels between the international situation in 1968 and 2008? What versions of 1968 have artists, theorists, and activists made use of in the decades since? To what extent are theoretical paradigms, political and social movements, and artistic practices that emerged or were tested in the fulcrum of 1968 taking on new life now, and how are they adapting to the physical and virtual spaces of the twenty-first century? Discussions of these and related questions will, we hope, lead to reflection on the larger process of recuperation of historical events, cultural production, and theoretical paradigms in various domains.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Conference Program

October 23—25, 2008
conference begins Thursday at 7 pm in the UWM Union Theatre
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard

continues Friday at 9:30 am in Curtin 175
3243 North Downer Avenue

and Saturday at 9 am at the Hefter Conference Center
3271 North Lake Drive

23 October Thursday
Screening of Fuses (1964-66, 30 min.) and Meat Joy (1964, 6 min.)
by Carolee Schneemann
Keynote: Carolee Schneemann (independent artist): “Remains To Be Seen”

24 October Friday

Knowing 1968: Terms of Engagement
Judit Bodnar (Central European University, Budapest)
“What’s Left of the Right of the City?”
Rose M. Brewer (Minnesota)
“1968 and the Black Radical Tradition”
Bernard Gendron (UWM, emeritus)
“Foucault’s 1968”
Richard Langston (UNC-Chapel Hill)
“Towards a Positive Dialectic: German Theory After Adorno”
Moderator: Aneesh Aneesh (UWM)

Landscapes of Protest 1: Revisioning Image and Narrative
Martin Berger (UC-Santa Cruz)
“Black Power, White Power, and the 1968 Olympic Protests”
Jacqueline Bixler (Virginia Tech)
“October 2, 1968, and the Plaza de Tlatelolco: from Fact to Film”
Kath Weston (Virginia)
“Previously on `1968’: Operation Breadbasket and Iconographic Memory in Class/Race Politics”
Robert Self (Brown)
“Bodies Count: 1968 and the Body in American Politics”
Moderator: Jasmine Alinder (UWM)

Screenings: 1968, Film and Media
Carol Siegel (WSU-Vancouver)
“Recovering Connections between Sex Radicalism and the Left: Fighting Fascism on Film in 1968 and Today”
Fred Turner (Stanford)
“Information Technology for Utopia”
Julian Bourg (Bucknell)
“Tempered Nostalgia in Recent French Films on les Années 1968”
Mark Tribe (Brown)
“Rhetorics of Resistance: Protest Speech, Public Space, and the Public Sphere”
Moderator: Joe Austin (UWM)

Screening of Port Huron Project 1-6
by Mark Tribe

25 October Saturday

Landscapes of Protest 2: New Connections
Jeremi Suri (UW-Madison)
“The Rise and Fall of an International Counterculture in the 1960s”
Yoshikuni Igarashi (Vanderbilt)
“Japan’s Long 1968: Dreaming of Class Warfare in the Age of Mass Consumption”
Simon Prince (Oxford)
“`We have seen these sort of people at work lately all over the globe’: Northern Ireland and 1968”
Dina Mahnaz Siddiqi (Independent Scholar)
“Bangladesh and Nationalism since 1968″
Moderator: Ruud van Dijk (Amsterdam)

Keynote: James Ferguson (Stanford)
“An African 1968: Humanism and Invisibility”

Bodies of Art: 1968 as Turning Point?
Ann Reynolds (UT-Austin)
“Coming to the Sixties”
Noit Banai (Tufts)
“Jouissance in May 68: The Participatory Revolution and The Public of Sensation”
Michelle Kuo (Artforum International)
“Inventing Experiments in Art and Technology”
Tamara Levitz (UCLA)
“The Effervescent Body in the Cyberage”
Moderator: Daniel J. Sherman (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Closing Discussion followed by reception