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The Radical Sixties


  • Credit value30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Carmen Mangion
  • Assessment: one essay of 5000-5500 words (100%)

Module description

We will unravel traditional, competing and contradictory discourses through an examination of the key social, cultural and political developments in Britain during one of the tumultuous decades of the twentieth century. The social movements, themes and events listed below will act as case studies and will be framed within the long 1960s (1950s to 1970s) in order to better understand both continuities and change.

Importantly, these movements crossed national boundaries and cannot be seen in isolation, so we will also examine transnational influences, particularly with respect to continental Europe and the United States. Throughout, we will be questioning whether the events of the long 1960s can be considered part of a social and cultural revolution (keeping in mind the changing material context of the post war period). What was the lasting impact of ‘the sixties’? Our tools for exploring the long 1960s will be the rich secondary literature as well as a wide variety of primary sources including but by no means limited to: newspapers, television and radio broadcasts, film, photographs, music and oral history.

Teaching takes the form of short lectures, student presentations, group work and class discussions of primary sources. Student presentations will feature from week two. Each week, two students will lead the discussion by exploring the seminar theme within a different national context.