William Marotti
University of California, Los Angeles
First offered as an ExEAS course at Columbia University in Spring 2004.
lecture T Th 2:40-3:55; screenings T 12-2+

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Course Objectives:

This course will explore aspects of radical politics and culture in the 1960s through thematic sections centered on events in France and Algeria, Japan, the USA, and Mexico. Topics will include Third-Worldism and decolonization; the Vietnam War; Black Liberation; Art, Performance and Politics; and Revolution and Cold War. Readings will combine secondary and primary sources, and lectures will be supplemented with documentary and feature films on and from the period.

Our primary goal is in fact to evaluate the topic of the course: “the 60s.” Is there something, or some set of characteristics, that coherently links these events together (other than the fact that they occur in the same decade)? Are there shared problems, or approaches, that link the various political and cultural phenomena? Is there a positive definition we can give to these commonalities, or is there a better way to think about them?

Students will have the opportunity to explore both these issues and local specifics through biweekly short writing assignments covering the course materials, films and lectures, culminating in an essay-format final exam.


Short papers, together equaling 45% of your grade. One final, covering lectures and readings, worth 30% of your grade. The remaining 25% will be for participation in section, including attendance, and in-class assignments (but again, excessive absences may imperil your entire final grade).


All books are available at Labyrinth Books.

Required Texts:

Kristin Ross, May ‘68 and its Afterlives

Robert Williams, Negroes with Guns

Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement

Andrew Feenberg and Jim Freedman, When Poetry Ruled the Streets

NACLA, Who Rules Columbia? (Available as photocopy TBA)

Recommended Texts (Optional):

Robert Cohen and Reginald E. Zelnik, The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in

the 1960s (listed below as “FSM”)

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, “Takin’ It to the Streets”: A Sixties Reader (2 nd ed., Oxford

U. Press 2003) (listed below as Streets)

Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Grove)

Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis

Didier Daeninckx, Murder in Memoriam

Wes Sasaki-Uemura, Organizing the Spontaneous: Citizen Protest in Postwar Japan

Remainder of assignments available through electronic reserves.

Schedule of lectures and assignments:

Week 1

Jan 20: Introduction

FILM: Rebels with a Cause: Voices of Students for a Democratic Society (H. Garvey) 2000


Jan 22: Decolonization and Cold War: Algeria

Reading : Franz Fanon, “Concerning Violence,” The Wretched of the Earth, pp. 35-106

Jacques Amalric, article on “La Guerre sans Nom,” [The War without a Name] documentary film by Tavernier, Guardian

Sartre, “A Victory” (preface to The Question), Colonialism and Neocolonialism, pp. 65-77

Douglas Johnson, Obituary on General Massu, Guardian

Week 2

Jan 27: FILM: Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo/ Solinas) 1967

SCREENING AT FILM FORUM, 1:20 PM, 209 W Houston Street , between 6 th & 7 th Avenue

$5 admission (mention the class and my name for this group discount)

Draft script available online:

Reading : Kristin Ross, May ‘68 and Its Afterlives, ch.1, pp. 19-64

Didier Daeninckx, Murder in Memorium pp.7-30

Jan 29: Everyday Life

Reading : Guy Debord, “Perspectives for Conscious Alterations in Everyday Life” pp. 68-75

Situationist International, “On the Poverty of Student Life,” pp. 319-337

Henri Lefebvre/ Kristin Ross, “Lefebvre on the Situationists: An Interview,” pp. 267-283

<essay assignment>

Week 3

Feb 3: FILM: Le Joli Mai (Marker) 1962 (on life in France as Algerian struggle ends)

Reading : Feenberg and Freedman, When Poetry Ruled the Streets, pp. 3-68

Feb 5: France ‘68

Reading : Feenberg and Freedman, When Poetry Ruled the Streets pp. 79-184

<essay assignment>

Week 4

Feb 10: FILM: Grin Without a Cat (Marker) 1977

Reading : Recommended only: Didier Daeninckx, Murder in Memorium pp. 31-176


Feb 12: Japan Postwar

Reading : John Dower, “Peace and Democracy in Two Systems: External Policy and Internal Conflict,” in Postwar Japan as History pp. 8-33.

Nogi Harumichi and Hatanaka Shigeo, oral testimonies, in Cook, Japan at War: An Oral History , pp.50-55; 64-68;105-113; 222-227.

Andrew Gordon, “Society and Politics from Transwar through Postwar Japan,” in Historical Perspectives on Contemporary East Asia , pp. 272-296

Kristin Ross, May ‘68 and its Afterlives, pp. 1-18 (Introduction) [discusses thinking about 60s activism historically]

Week 5

Feb 17: FILM: Cruel Story of Youth (Oshima) 1960

Reading : Michael Raine, “Ishihara Yujiro: Youth, Celebrity, and the Male Body in Late-1950s Japan,” pp. 202-225

Yoshikuni Igarashi, ch. 5, Bodies of Memory, pp. 131-142

Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, Organizing the Spontaneous, 36-54

Feb 19: Japan in the early 1960s: Mass Protest, Art and Assassination


Reading : Takabatake, Michitoshi, “Citizens’ Movements: Organizing the Spontaneous,” in Koschmann, Authority and the Individual in Japan pp. 189-199

Akasegawa, Genpei, “The 1960s: The Art Which Destroyed Itself.”

Hariu, Ichiro, “The Phases of Neo-Dada in Postwar Art”

John Treat, “Beheaded Emperors and the Absent Figure in Contemporary Japanese Literature,” pp. 100-115

Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, Organizing the Spontaneous, 112-147, 148-177

rec’d: Akasegawa, Genpei, “On Capitalist Realism” (draft translation)

<essay assignment>

Week 6

Feb 24: Japan and the Cultural Politics of Memory

FILM: Tokyo Olympiad ( Ichikawa) 1965 – Selections

Reading : Yoshikuni Igarashi, ch. 5, Bodies of Memory, pp. 143-163

Senda, Akihiko, “Situation Theater: Red Tent South” pp. 18-25

Yamamoto, Kiyokazu “The World as Public Toilet” pp. 214-219

rec’d: Kara, Juro, “John Silver: The Beggar of Love,” in Goodman, David, Japanese

Drama and Culture in the 1960s pp. 237-282

Nosaka Akiyuki, “American Hijiki,” pp. 436-468

Feb 26: Late 60's struggles: Anpo ‘70, antiwar, Okinawa, Sanrizuka, University Occupations

Reading :AMPO v. 1-5, CP selections (all)

rec’d: Sunada, Ichiro, “Thought and Behavior of Zengakuren,” Asian Survey Jn 1969 pp. 457-474

Kumimoto, Yoshiro, “Expo ‘70"

Muto Ichiyo, “The Birth of the Woman’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s”

<essay assignment>

Week 7

March 2: Seizing the moment

FILM: Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (Oshima) 1967 (16mm)

(Note: start Thursday’s heavy reading NOW)

United States

March 4: USA in the 1950s: McCarthyism and Segregation: Guest lecturer–Dan Link

Reading : Ellen Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America, ch. 10 pp. 359-415

Robert Williams, Negroes With Guns pp. 3-86

Arnold M. Rose, “American Race Relations and World Opinion,” pp. 9-11

Week 8

March 9: FILM: Pleasantville

Reading : Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement

March 11: Against Segregation: Guest discussant–Dan Link

Reading : Howard Raines (interviews), “Black Surprise: The Student Sit-ins and the Birth of SNCC” in My Soul is Rested pp. 75-108

Doug McAdam, Freedom Summer ch. 2, “The Biographical Roots of Activism,” pp. 35-65

Jo Freeman, “The Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission,” at

“Professional Agitator Hits All Major Trouble Spots,” Editorial, Jackson Daily News , Aug. 18, 1965, at:

<Spring Break>

Week 9

March 23: FILM: Berkeley in the 1960s

Reading : Margot Adler, “My Life in the FSM: Memories of a Freshman,” in FSM, pp. 111-128

Lawrence Levine, “From the Big Apple to Berkeley: Perspectives of a Junior Faculty Member,” in FSM, pp. 339-344

Jo Freeman, “A Short History of the University of California Speaker Ban,” at

rec’d: Mario Savio, “Thirty Years Later: Reflections on the FSM” in FSM, pp. 57-72

March 25: The Berkeley Free Speech Movement

Reading : Bradford Cleaveland, “A Letter to Undergraduates” in The Berkeley Student Revolt , pp. 66-81

Bradford Cleaveland, “Education, Revolutions, and Citadels” in The Berkeley Student Revolt , pp. 81-93

W.J. Rorabaugh, “The FSM, Berkeley Politics, and Ronald Reagan,” in FSM, pp. 511-518

Mario Savio, “An End to History” in The Berkeley Student Revolt, pp. 216-219

rec’d: Robert Cohen, “The Many Meanings of the FSM,” in FSM, pp.1-53

<essay assignment>

Week 10

March 30: Black Liberation and Internationalism

Reading : Malcom X, “Minister Malcom X Enunciates the Muslim Program” in Black Nationalism in America , pp. 413-420

Malcom X, “The Organization of Afro-American Unity: ‘For Human Rights and Dignity’” in Black Nationalism in America, pp. 421-427

Larry Neal, "Black Art and Black Liberation" in Streets pp. 122-128

SNCC, "The Basis of Black Liberation" in Streets pp. 116-121

Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez (poems)—TBA

The Black Panther Platform "What We Want, What We Believe" in Streets, pp. 125-128

Max Stanford, "Revolutionary Nationalism, Black Nationalism, or Just Plain Blackism" in Black Nationalism in America pp. 508-517

Tariq Ali and Susan Watkins, 1968: Marching in the Streets, pp. 160-163

Amiri Baraka, " Cuba Libre"in The Baraka Reader pp. 125-160

April 1: Columbia University Struggle

Reading : NACLA, Who Rules Columbia? Available at (TBA)

“Why We Strike,” available at

NACLA, “The Movement Gives Birth to NACLA”

“The Education of a Radical,” in John Erlich and Susan Erlich, Student power, participation and revolution , pp. 45-48


rec’d: Mark Rudd, “Notes On Columbia” in John Erlich and Susan Erlich, Student power, participation and revolution , pp. 100-114

Michael Locker, “Campus Reconnaissance” in John Erlich and Susan Erlich, Student power, participation and revolution , pp.209-224 (how to investigate universities)

Week 11

April 6: FILM: Vietnam: In the Year of the Pig

Reading : “Cointelpro” in Streets, pp. 317-324

Marshall Sahlins, “The Established Order: Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate” in Culture in Practice pp. 261-8

“Time is Just Retrogressin’ As Far As Our Progress is Concerned” CTJ pp. 16-32

Marshall Sahlins, “The Future of the National Teach-in: A History” pp. 209-217

April 8: Vietnam and Anti-War

Reading : Marilyn Young, “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh Is Gonna Win!” in Why the North Won the Vietnam War pp. 219-232

John Kerry, “ Vietnam Veterans Against the War,” in Streets 219-222

Gettleman, Franklin, Young and Franklin, eds, Vietnam and America pp. 295-300 , 306-335

Barbara Tischler, “ The Antiwar Movement” in A Companion to the Vietnam War pp. 384-402

rec’d: John Prados, “The Veterans Antiwar Movement: Fact and Memory” pp. 403-415

<essay assignment>

Week 12

April 13: FILM: The Weather Underground.

Reading : Jeremy Larner, “The Chicago Democratic Convention,” in Streets pp.366-9

Tom Hayden, “The Trial” in Streets pp 375-9

The Walker Commission, “Rights In Conflict,” in Streets pp 369-75

“Bring the War Home,” and “Honky Tonk Women.” in Streets, 379-386

“The Human Be-in” and “Digger Papers” in Streets pp.270-8

“Yippie Manifesto”in Streets, pp. 278-279

Jerry Rubin, “Do It” in Streets, pp. 279-282

April 15: Women’s Liberation

Reading : Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon, eds., Dear Sisters, pp. 21-2, 51, 58-9, 63, 67-9, 73-5, 84-87, 90-95, 150-2, 213-215, 288-290

Ellen Cantarow et al., “I Am Furious” pp. 170-176

Week 13


April 20: Showcasing Development: The ’68 Olympics and the revolutionary State

Reading : Eriz Zolov, “ Rebeldismo in the Revolutionary Family: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Early Impact on Mexican State and Society,” and “ La Onda : Mexico’s Counterculture and the Student Movement of 1968,” in Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), p. 17-61, 93-131.

April 22: Mexican Counterculture and the Student Movement: Guest lecture–Mary Coffey

Exercise in class: reading mural art (official and critical representations)

Reading : Arthur Solin, “ Mexico 68: Graphics for the XIX Olympiad,” Print vol. 17, no. 3 (May/June 1968), 3-12.

Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, “ Mexico’s Cultural Olympics,” Americas vol. 21: no. 10 (October 1968), 16-19.

Christopher Rand, “Letter From Mexico,” New Yorker June 29, 1968, 68- 86.

April 27: Massacre at Tlatelolco, then Olympics

Reading : Eriz Zolov, “Protest and Counterculture in the 1968 Student Movement in Mexico ,” in Student Protest: The Sixties and After ed. Gerard J. Degroot (London, New York: Longman Ltd., 1998), 70-84.

Selections from Elena Poniatowska, Massacre in Mexico, trans. Helen R. Lane (New York; Viking Press, 1975), p. 3-15, 19-22, 34-36, 58-60, 146-150, photo insert, 199-208, 234-241, 262-281

NACLA Newsletter , Sept. 1968

Tariq Ali and Susan Watkins, 1968: Marching in the Streets 164-9, 172-6, 180-3

rec’d: Roger Bartra, “Journey to the Center of the Right,” Blood and Ink: Miseries and Splendors of the Post-Mexican Condition , trans. Mark Healey ( Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), p. 90-103.

<essay assignment>

Week 14


April 29: Comparison, Memory

Reading : Kristin Ross, May ‘68 and Its Afterlives, introduction and ch. 3

FILM to be seen BEFORE CLASS : Forest Gump