The year 1968 was a year of great political and cultural turmoil in Germany, Europe, and the United States. In today’s Germany, it is associated especially with the student revolt and the profound changes it initiated in German society. The events surrounding the German student movement that year included protests against the Vietnam War, new emergency laws passed by the German parliament, the assassination attempt on student leader Rudi Dutschke, attacks on the German tabloid press, and the first attacks by a terrorist group, which was come to be known as the Red Army Faction. In addition to their increased involvement in politics, the new generation of Germans challenged traditional conceptions of culture—from education and the role of women in German society, to the function of literature and the arts—leading German writers and artists to explore new forms of literary and artistic expression as well. In this seminar, we will revisit some of the events that galvanized the student movement, read literary and historical texts from and about the period, and discuss diverse forms of cultural expression representative of the time. Readings will be complemented by clips from both documentary and feature films.
Satisfies Core Area IV (World Languages and Culture) and the Franklin College Literature requirement.