Freedom and the University
General Catalog Course Title:
Special Topics- English
Terms Offered:
Fall 2014

The sixties represent a period in which the university became for the first time a central locus of struggles for freedom—for civil rights, Black Power, Third World self-determination, and women’s and gay liberation, and against imperialism and colonialism, militarism and war, capitalism and heterosexist patriarchy. The result was that conceptions of what higher education should be and whom it should be for were also profoundly changed. This course is being offered in coordination with next Fall’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (FSM), which in 1964 put Berkeley on the “World Sixties” map. Instead of dichotomizing the “good” early sixties from the “bad” late sixties, this course will be interested in locating productive encounters between liberal ideals and radical quests for freedom and equality. Examining the intellectual and material legacies of that era in light of today’s precarious public university, this course will trace the historical dialectic between “Cultural Revolution” and Ethnic Studies, and between the counterculture and cyberculture. The course will geographically emphasize the San Francisco Bay Area, so that students may pursue final research projects if they choose on topics rich in local archives. Course readings will include a wide range of media and genres: biography, history, memoir, poetry, manifesto, fiction, anthology, theory, film, drama. As such, students should expect that though this is an English-listed course, it will be taught as an interdisciplinary cultural studies, history and theory course. Students should attend the first day of class before purchasing any books, as there may be adjustments to the book list.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.