[csaa-forum] the sixties

mark galliford mgalliford at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 5 14:13:25 CST 2007

Bob Dylan is touring this year... Ah, the answer, my friends, is just... 
blowin in the wind!

>From: Graham St John <g.stjohn at uq.edu.au>
>To: CSAA discussion list <csaa-forum at lists.cdu.edu.au>
>Subject: Re: [csaa-forum] the sixties
>Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 15:09:01 -0600
>Good questions Stephen
>I've had an interest in how activisms from the 1990s onwards from local 
>environmentalism to alter-globalization have inheritied the carnivalized 
>politics of the past (e.g.  the history of radical avant-garde movements 
>and 1960s guerilla theatre) with the assistance of new technologies (audio, 
>visual, cyber). Festal hacktivism, tactical frivolity, anarchist 
>(un)masking practices and other performances have intersected in the 
>contemporary *protestival*, a heuristic which is sufficient to comprehend 
>those performative moments simultaneously transgressive and progressive, 
>against and for, by which the marginal may take their grievances to the 
>physical and symbolic centres ('summits') of neo-liberalism, where 
>alternative logics and spectacles are performed, and 'another world' is 
>Amidst the summit sieges, autonomous convergences and other reflexive 
>events constituting transnational carnivalesque rituals, politico-religious 
>pilgrimage destinations, or spatial reconfigurations critical to the 
>renewed opposition to capitalism, it is the increasingly ubiquitous Global 
>Day of Action (for instance seeking interventions in neo-liberalism, the 
>war on terror, climate change) which is of particular interest to me. Not 
>only does this research necessarily reference the historical inheritance 
>for these developments but it also necessarily draws on cultural studies 
>(including subcultural studies), performance studies and the study of new 
>social movements to make sense of it.
>Graham St John
>At 9:18 AM +1000 6/4/07, 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 
>>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 
>>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
>>discussion list of the cultural studies association of australasia
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