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What are the Sixties?

For the purposes of the Sixties Project in general, and the SIXTIES-L list in particular, we define the parameters of the Sixties in three different ways:

  1. The Sixties exist as a definite (and arbitrarily limited) chronological period--in our case we have defined the period as 1960-1975. Discussion of events which took place during the period is clearly within the parameters of the SIXTIES-L list.
  2. The Sixties "generation" is an appropriate subject for discussion on this list and is comprised of those born between 1945-1960. Examples of appropriate topics along these lines would be the influence of the events of the 1960s on the development of the New Right, the impact of the black liberation movement on contemporary african american political thought, or the representation of the Viet Nam veteran in U.S. popular culture.
  3. The Sixties are often conceived of as a series of cultural, social and political events on which certain persons not born in the"generation," and certain events preceding the chronological period had a shaping influence. Biographical examinations of influential Sixties "characters" (such as Abbie Hoffman, Cesar Chavez, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, and others) are appropriate topics for this list, as are discussions of broader cultural and political phenomena such as the effect of the Cold War on U.S. diplomacy during the SIXTIES, the philosophical underpinnings of the New Left, and the Bohemian influence on the counterculture.

We consider a broad range of topics on SIXTIES-L, including but not limited to the civil rights movement, the student movement, the new left, right wing movements, foreign policy, philosophy, the Viet Nam war and the antiwar movement, the women's movement, the gay rights movement, the environmental movement, arts movements, music, popular culture, political history, economics, literature, the impact of technological advances on contemporary U.S. culture, international affairs, Third World liberation movements, and the intellectual history of the era.

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