[csaa-forum] the sixties

Devleena Ghosh Devleena.Ghosh at uts.edu.au
Mon Jun 4 09:57:52 CST 2007

Lots of work on the Indian 60s, Maoist movements and womens movements  
+ subaltern studies had genesis in the mid-70s. These are crucial  
political debates in India given what has been happening post Babri  
Masjid and liberalisation.
On 04/06/2007, at 10:21 AM, Peter Eckersall wrote:

> Dear Stephen, CSAA list,
> A number of us - Vera Mackie, myself and others in Australia  
> internationally have been working in the 60s for a few years now -  
> for me the 60s in japan, but I have also done some work on  
> Australia (where the 60s begins late-more 1970s).   I edited a  
> special Japan: The ends of the 1960s  issue of Performance Paradigm  
> (www.performanceparadigm.net) that includes essays by many of the  
> leading scholars on 60s culture and Japan.  I also published  
> Theorizing the angura space: Avant-garde performance and politics  
> in Japan 1960-2000 (Brill 2006) that deals with the question of the  
> new left and theatre and how things are reworked during and since  
> the 1960s.
> What we have today as a politics is very much the smokescreen for  
> corporate capitalism as you say but we need to theorise how this is  
> as a much a creation of the 1970s left and the conflation of  
> countercultural subjectivities with individualism and materialism  
> as it is the post 1980s rise of right.
> This project has been around awhile and new contributions, ideas  
> and most of all critiques that relate politics to action are  
> necessary.
> Peter Eckersall
> On 04/06/2007, at 9:18 AM, Stephen Muecke wrote:
>> The Sixties Revisited
>> There are many reasons for a renewed interest in the sixties. The  
>> worst reason is, of course, for superannuated baby-boomers to  
>> indulge in nostalgia, the best is for people born, say in the  
>> eighties, to analyse a period where there were real and effective  
>> languages of political contestation, which could be taken even to  
>> a national scale (Mai '68, the Cultural Revolution in China,  
>> student movements toppling the governments of Sth Korea and  
>> Thailand, national liberation movements against colonialism).
>> In terms of culture there were radical forms of experimentation in  
>> everyday life, the birth of ecological movements, homosexuality  
>> was legalised, a stunning new visual style emerged in in  
>> iconography, fashion, fine arts and cinema. Popular music came of  
>> age in the USA and the UK, and there was a new cosmopolitanism of  
>> youth movements. In science and industry plastics emerged, the  
>> transistor made electronics portable, Man walked on the Moon,  
>> nuclear met counter-nuclear...
>> Today, in repudiation of the sixties, the world seems engulfed by  
>> a neo-liberal market-driven culture which has narrowed the  
>> language of political analysis. Conservative opinion-makers are  
>> busy characterising the sixties as a time of looney left excess, a  
>> smokescreen perhaps for the excesses of global corporate  
>> capitalism today.
>> Are the current forms of political and cultural activism derived  
>> from the sixties? Community-based localist or micro-activisms,  
>> autonomists, hackers and bloggers, ferals and sub-cultural  
>> communities?
>> Serious research should determine how cultural and political  
>> analysis of this four-decade-old history can sort out continuities  
>> and discontinuities. Most world leaders grew up in the sixties, so  
>> the period still has a hold on their unconscious: Can they let it  
>> go? Can people in their twenties and thirties teach them to look  
>> at the present more clearly?
>> The question I’d like to put to the List, perhaps with a view to a  
>> seminar, is who in Australia is working on the sixties (really the  
>> late 50s to the early 70s)? Who is prepared to work up a topic?  
>> There is the potential for interesting Asian links—see Inter-Asia  
>> Cultural Studies issue of December last year, ‘The Asian Sixties’.
>> Stephen Muecke
>> Director, Transforming Cultures Centre
>> Humanities and Social Sciences
>> University of Technology, Sydney
>> Box 123 BROADWAY NSW 2007 Australia
>> Ph: +61 2 9514 1960
>> Fx: +612 9514 4344
>> mb 042 5261 232
>> http://www.transforming.cultures.uts.edu.au/
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> Dr Peter Eckersall
> Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies
> School of Culture and Communication
> University of Melbourne
> Australia
> 3010
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(Dr) Devleena Ghosh
Senior Lecturer, Social Inquiry Program
(University Research Centre for Communication and Culture)
Bon Marche (Bldg 3), room 550 (enter via Harris St)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney

Postal address: PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Phone and Voice Mail: +61-2-95141963
Fax: +61-2-95142778

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