Symposium Call For Papers

Symposium: Friday, June 15th – Sunday, June 17th, 2018
Deadline for proposals: Friday, December 15th, 2017

This symposium will bring together a large number of high-profile activists who were ‘ringleaders’ of the protests as well as artists and filmmakers who broke new ground in the accompanying counterculture. Their round table discussions and presentations will be accompanied by a number of panels, consisting of papers by established and emerging scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, focused on the theme of ‘1968 and its legacies’.

For the symposium, we invite proposals for twenty minute papers on any aspect of the politics of protest or counterculture circa 1968. Papers may address any international context, bearing in mind that the timing of events in the late 1960s varied from place to place. Papers may also focus primarily on those events or on their subsequent and continuing influence. Examples of broad themes which proposals might address include:

  • the causes of progressive mass protest circa 1968, including, for example, the Vietnam War, racial injustice, decolonization, sexual liberation, and critiques of capitalism
  • the history and geography of political protest in specific environments circa 1968, whether city, town, or countryside
  • the documentation of lesser-known movements or protests circa 1968, or of new evidence pertaining to well-known examples
  • the examination of state and corporate responses to mass protest circa 1968
  • artistic, musical, and literary responses to 1968, during the era and since
  • media and pop culture portrayals of 1968 and mass protest
  • the interaction of political protest, counterculture, and the avant garde circa 1968
  • the effects of 1968 on various professional and academic fields
  • how 1968 has shaped, and was shaped by, identity politics, from civil rights and feminism to LGBTQ equality
  • political radicalization during and after 1968
  • the relationship between 1968 and neoliberalism, neoconservatism, the alt right and far right
  • the influence of 1968 on the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, or other recent leftist movements

This is by no means an exhaustive list of topics that will be addressed, but an indication of the wide-ranging discussion and debate we hope the symposium will generate. As well as specialist researchers, participants will include an international range of activists, artists, and filmmakers who came to prominence in and around 1968. Details will be made available during autumn 2017.

Provisional symposium schedule: Friday, June 15th, evening – Welcome, opening comments, and film screening w/ guest filmmakers; Saturday, June 16th, daytime – ‘Art and activism’ round table and panels; Saturday evening – psychedelic light show and party; Sunday, June 17th, daytime – ‘Politics of the street and institutions’ round table and panels.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: Friday, December 15th, 2017.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PROPOSALS: Your proposal must consist of: 1) an abstract of not more than 400 words; 2) an indicative bibliography of up to five primary and/or secondary sources; and 3) your brief bio of no more 150 words or CV of no more than one A4/Letter page, indicating your institutional affiliation and status. Please combine these elements in one document (Microsoft Word or equivalent) and send it as an email attachment to:
We aim to announce decisions on the acceptance or rejection of proposals by Friday, January 12th, 2018.

The symposium will be open to undergraduate and postgraduate students, academics, other researchers and the general public. Registration in advance will be required. Registration for the symposium will open online in January 2018.

Details of symposium content, format, and guest speakers will be confirmed during autumn 2017. Please check this website regularly for updates. Please email any specific questions about the symposium to:

Organizing committee: Mark Shiel (convener), Patrick Ffrench, Paolo Gerbaudo, Sharon Gewirtz, Alex Loftus, David Treece; with thanks to the King’s Together Fund



(Raised fist graphic courtesy of Liberation News Service, New York City, Dec. 19, 1968)