Fifty Years after 1968: Research on the Global 1960s, Part 6: The Other Sixties: Cold War Conservatism and the New Right

AHA Session 290
Sunday, January 7, 2018: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Hampton Room (Omni Shoreham, East Lobby)
Alan Shane Dillingham, Spring Hill College
Alan Shane Dillingham, Spring Hill College

Session Abstract

The “Sixties” in the popular imagination conjures images of leftist youth radicalism and countercultures rising against a conservative older generation. While the New Left was an important political force in the global 1960s, forces on the right also shaped the politics and culture of the mid- and late-twentieth century in ways that were equally influential.

The presentations in this panel explore innovations in conservative and right-wing activism and culture over the 1960s in Latin America, Asia, and Western Europe. These included, but were not limited to, new imaginings of the place of religious identity within conservatism, altered visions of masculinity, and new ideas of human rights and European unity. By thinking through how transnational ideas and social change associated with the New Left also spawned conservative, neo-fascist, nationalist, and anti-communist imaginaries, this panel makes a case for understanding the “other sixties” that shaped the non- and counter-revolutionary legacies, which emerged in reaction to or in tandem with the revolutionary “sixties.”

Additionally, the panel offers a multi-generational view into the development of mid-twentieth century conservatism. The panelists demonstrate that not only were right-wing youth extremely active during the 1960s but also slightly older generations were constantly innovating and adopting ideas from youth into their worldviews. The 1960s were a period that shaped not only the youth marching through city capitals and metropolises, but also the laborers and white-collar workers who toiled in support of capitalism. In doing so, the panel offers a way to think about dynamic change during the “sixties” in terms of concurrent generational evolution and the interrelated possibilities within capitalism.

Social movements of the 1960s powerfully define the world we live in today. From citizen protests to decolonization struggles, collective action created and responded to global events and ideas.

Welcoming in the fifty-year anniversary of the iconic year of 1968, this workshop brings together scholars working in various areas to assess the state of historical research on the 1960s. It will challenge historians working across regions to consider how to link their case studies and thus consider what can be meant by the "global 1960s." It will also stage discussions on key ideas in the sixties, such as Black Power and Third Worldism, that transformed understandings of race, ethnicity, and power.