Culture and Politics in the 1970s

History 103D.001

Spring 2018
2303 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
M 10-12
Class Number: 

Since about 2000, a growing number of historians have turned to the 1970s, claiming to reinterpret a misunderstood, and as some had even described it, “eminently forgettable” decade. The 1970s was more than the ten years between the 60s and the 80s. In this seminar, we will examine the major historical processes of this period with an emphasis on connections to contemporary politics, economics, and culture. Broadly understood as an era of national decline, economic recession, degradation of the nuclear family, and the end of moral consensus, recent scholars have argued for the importance of the so-called “me decade” in terms of labor, urban change, finance, identity, culture, and social and political movements. We will also consider the works in this course in light of the methodology and approaches of recent scholarship, especially in terms of histories of mass media and finance. The course will culminate with either a research paper based on a key question addressed throughout the seminar or the option to develop a prospectus for a thesis to be completed in the department.