1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 2-hour workshop weekly
4.5 units of Second Level HIST topics
Topic description

The period between 1960 and 1973, an era known as the 'Long 1960s,' was a tumultuous era in the history of the United States. This topic will offer an intensive investigation of the political and cultural shifts that took place in the long 1960's whilst locating these events in historical context. It will investigate the growth and development of social movements, with particular attention paid to grass-roots and local initiatives. It will consider the scope and impact of political activism on the Left and Right. It will discuss the effect that the Cold War had on America's understandings of its place in the world. It will engage with the popular culture of the period and students will be encouraged to analyse an array of textual and visual sources. This topic aims to provide students with an understanding of why the 1960's were so polarising and how memories of the decade have shaped contemporary America.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Deliver an overview of the changes that occurred in the United States in the long 1960s and explore the way that the historiography considers the decade
  • Consider the context in which social activism occurred and interrogate the relationship between grass-roots organisers and national movements
  • Discuss the political climate in the United States and examine the changing fortunes of liberalism, the Left, and conservatism
  • Explore the histories of America at home and abroad and locate these histories within the broader context of the Cold War
  • Further develop students' ability to work independently
  • Further develop students' research and analysis skills
  • Further enhance students' abilities to communicate their knowledge in both oral and written form at a standard appropriate to the Honours level
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a high level of understanding of the social, political and intellectual shifts that took place in the United States in the long 1960's and be able to assess the longterm impact of these changes
  2. Demonstrate a high level of competence in the skills of comprehension, oral presentation, and scholarly writing
  3. Critically analyse primary and secondary source materials
  4. Apply their knowledge by constructing and developing a coherent argument in written assessment