Symposium recalls significance of 1968 global revolution
Contact: Cindy Deppe, media relations,
Why important: The Grinnell symposium will bring together former
student leaders and contemporary scholars from around the world to
examine the international relevance of the 1968 protests, then and
now. "1968" author Mark Kurlansky will be available on campus.
GRINNELL, IA--1968 . . .anti-war, anti-government . . . student
protests . . . in Paris, Prague, Mexico City, and the U.S.
Forty years later, the relevance of these international events will
be examined during a week-long symposium, "1968: The Global
Revolution," on the Grinnell College campus, Oct. 13-16.
"Grinnell College is bringing together historical players and
scholars to reflect on this defining year," said David Harrison,
director of Grinnell's Center for International Studies and symposium
organizer. "The symposium will draw parallels to today's events,
looking through the lens of global activities."
Best-selling author Mark Kurlansky, who wrote "1968: The Year that
Rocked the World," will deliver the symposium keynote on Thurs., Oct.
16 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center.
Kurlansky will address "The Cause of the Global Combustion of 1968."
The 1968 symposium includes the following events:
· Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Forum, South Lounge: A panel discussion with
Grinnell alumni from classes of 1968-71 on "How 1968 at Grinnell
College Changed My Life." The group will recall events such as the
college's closure before the end of the academic year in 1970 due to
* Oct. 9, 8 p.m., Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Room 152: A showing
of the film "Generations '68," which chronicles the year's events
from San Francisco to Prague, through the eyes and voices of some the
period's most influential figures. Film scholar and Grinnell alumnus
Glenn Myrent will lead a discussion following the French and
* Oct. 13, 4:15 p.m.: Michel Wieviorka, a scholar of militant social
movements and a participant in the French protests of 1968, will
recall his student experiences in "Reflections on 'May 68' 40 Years
Later." Wieviorka is professor of sociology at the Paris School for
Advanced Study in Social Sciences and president of the International
* Oct. 13, 8 p.m.: Alain Geismar, one of three key leaders of the
Paris strikes, will discuss "A Very French May 68." As general
secretary of the National Union of Higher Education in 1968, Geismar
was one of the key organizers of the movement that nearly toppled
President Charles de Gaulle's presidency. Geismar has since served in
various positions in France's Ministry of National Education.
* Oct. 14, 4:15 p.m.: German scholar and former student activist
Klaus Kammerer will describe "The Role of the 1968 Student Protests
in Forming Contemporary German Culture." Kammerer was an activist at
the University of Freiburg in the 1960s and later became a professor
of political economy at the university.
* Oct. 14, 8 p.m.: "Prague, A Poem Reappearing: Remembering 1968"
will be the topic of discussion for Michael Kraus, an expert in
Russian and Eastern European politics. Kraus has been a regular
contributor to both Czech Television and BBC World Service (Prague)
to develop understanding of the modern Czech Republic.
* Oct. 15, 4:15 p.m.: Eric Zolov, associate professor of history at
Franklin and Marshall College, will offer Latin American perspective
in "Che Guevara's Message to the Tricontinental: Cuba, Mexico, and
the Crossroads of a New Left in Latin America." Zolov is a specialist
in Latin American history, culture, and politics and has written
about national identity in Mexico in the 1950s-1970s.
* Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m.: Douglas Hartmann, associate professor of
sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, will recall
"The 1968 African American Olympic Protest Movement: Domestic Roots,
International Reverberations." Hartmann studies race, ethnicity, and
immigration, and recently wrote a book that explores the history
behind the Black Power salute made by athletes Tommie Smith and John
Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
* Oct. 16, 11 a.m.: Journalist Mark Kurlansky will deliver the
symposium keynote on "The Cause of the Global Combustion of 1968."
Kurlansky wrote the best-selling account of the major events of 1968
"The Year that Rocked the World."
* Oct. 16, 4:15 p.m.: The symposium will conclude with a view of 1968
events in the U.S. Karla Jay, distinguished professor of English and
women's and gender studies at Pace University, will focus on the
student uprisings at Columbia University. Jay was one of the leading
figures in both the women's liberation and gay and lesbian movements,
which she chronicles in her memoir "Tales of the Lavender Menace: A
Memoir of Liberation."
All symposium events will be held in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center,
Room 101, located at 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell College campus,
unless otherwise noted. The Global Revolution Symposium is
co-sponsored by Grinnell College's Centers for International Studies,
Humanities, and Peace Studies; the Departments of History, French,
and German; the Latin American Studies Concentration; the Diversity
Steering and Convocation Committees; the Office of the President; and
the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations,
and Human Rights.