As the United States teeters under the weight of Trumpism while inequalities of race, class, gender, and nativity inspire protests and political organising, it has become increasingly common to harken back to the political divisions of the 1960s.

This roundtable panel explored the usefulness of the ‘1960s’ as a point of comparison for contemporary politics and culture not just in the U.S. but around the world in locales like Brazil and Greece. What has changed in the way we think about the 1960s as scholarship on the decade has passed from those who participated in its upheavals to those who study it as scholarly project? Is the ‘1960s’ a coherent category of historical time and analysis? If so, are the inequalities, oppressions, and counter-revolutions of the contemporary world producing a ‘new 1960s?’.

The four panellists, including USSC academics Dr Thomas Adams and Dr Rebecca Sheehan, are all historians of American social movements who teach outside of the United States. They offered diverse answers to these questions while placing the idea of the 1960s in the contemporary political and cultural context.

This event was hosted by Sydney Ideas and is co-presented with the American Cultures Workshop, a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Collaborative Research Scheme.

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