What is the course about?
We will explore the political, social and cultural context of 1960s America through a study of literature, history, music, film and art of the period. The course has different tutors for each specialism, providing different ways in to understanding the decade.
What will we cover?
-13th May & 15 July - Literature - tutor Patricia Sweeney
Through a selection of fiction, essays, poetry and drama, we investigate the social and cultural influences that contributed to creating a new kind of American literary voice. Includes Richard Yates, Lorraine Hansbury, Joan Didion, Edward Albee and Nikki Giovanni.
- 20 May - History lecture - tutor Mark Malcomson
Poltitics, presidents and the historical legacy
- 27 May & 3 June - History - tutor Zoe Quinn
A brief introduction to the African-American civil rights movement in the early 1960s- its origins, aims and tactics.
- 10 June - Film- tutor Mick McAloon
View films that captured, and in some cases anticipated, the national mood, including 'Psycho', 'The Manchurian Candidate', 'Bonnie and Clyde', 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Medium Cool'.
- 17 & 24 June - Art - tutor Ian Tucknott
$hop Art: explore American art in the 1960s as a response to the rise of post-war capitalism and artists' response to popular media, consumer culture, and everyday life. From Andy Warhol to Claes Oldenberg to James Rosenquist, we'll look at the rise and influence of Pop Art.
- Following the previous week's exploration of Pop Art, we consider a number of responses and rebukes to the movement's perceived decadence and the commodification of creativity. Artists explored will include Donald Judd, George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, and Barbara Jones-Hogu.
- 1 & 8 July - Music - tutor Trish Shaw
We explore how American music matured and liberated itself from European traditions, through movements such as minimalism and Fluxus, and social and political comment in contempoorary classical and popular musics.
- 15 July - In addition to the literature topics for 15 July, the final session will also have a summative course discussion.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-Understand how America changes socially, politically and economically during this period
-Explore the literary works of the period and how they reflect the cultural changes taking place in the country
-Develop an awareness of how the film and motion picture industry reflects not only the 'norm' but critiques the culture
-Explore new ways of seeing through 1960s art movements.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Anyone with an interest in American culture is welcome.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Sessions will include short lectures and working in small and large groups. Film extracts will be shown in
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Materials will be provided by the lecturers.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look at other courses in the Humanities under History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk in the
History, Literature and Film Studies sections.