With the Spring Semester underway, the School of Arts and Sciences is resuming its look back at the 1960s. This is a special project the school has organized for the 2017-2018 academic year and is an enjoyable and educational contribution to the university community. Events and art displays are highlighting a decade that had a lasting influence on many American institutions and cultural attitudes. Many events are being held at University Campus; some education centers are also planning special programming. Also, where possible, during classes Arts and Sciences faculty are pointing out when course topics or units relate in some way to the 1960s.

With this approach, students who were not yet born in the 1960s are getting the chance to explore history through an interdisciplinary lens. And those who were old enough during the 1960s to be aware of the world around them can revisit their memories and perhaps discover new information about their past and recent history.

The recent Fall Semester, for instance, featured student singers and instrumental groups at University Campus performing songs from the 1960s for the fall concert. The school also launched a free film series with showings of 1960s movies in Selby Hall.

The School of Arts and Sciences has even more planned for Spring Semester.

The regular LED (Learning, Enlightenment, Discoveries) Series, which features Arts and Sciences faculty in creative presentations or TED-like talks, is devoted to the 1960s this year. Participants have selected topics to discuss from politics to racial justice and feminism in popular music. Admission is free and the public is welcome. The sessions will be held in Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms of the Student Community Center and run from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 31, first session includes two presentations:

  • "The 1960s and the Destruction of Liberal Politics" 

by Dr. Michael Novak, assistant professor of theology

  • " 'You Don't Own Me': 1960s Women's Music and the Feminist Revolution" 

presented jointly by Ms. Gianna Russo, assistant professor of English and creative writing, and Ms. Pam Decius, humanities instructor

Tuesday, February 6, second session includes two presentations

  • "White Allies: From 1960s to Black Lives Matter"  presented by Dr. Eileen O'Brien, associate professor of sociology in Virginia
  • "Imagination (Almost) Takes Power: The Aborted French Revolution of May '68" presented by Dr. Patricia Campion, associate professor of global studies and sociology

In addition to the LED talks, at least eight other events are planned, and they span a variety of topics, including Black History Month, Women's History Month, art and music albums, and more classic films. Even more programming may be added. 

Each of the events will be publicized in advance through university announcements and through the School of Arts and Sciences social media platforms. The Facebook account name ASLionsMight and Twitter account @ASLionsMight will post reminders. Or look for the hashtag #ASLionsMight.  

Meanwhile, students and visitors to University Campus are also invited to view an ongoing display of photos of events from the 1960s, located in the first-floor foyer of Saint Edward Hall. 

For more information on any of the topics above, contact Megan Orendorf, administrator of events and special programs for School of Arts and Sciences, at (352) 588-8401 or jennifer.orendorf@saintleo.edu.

Photo credits: The photo of the March on Washington was taken by Marion S. Trikosko of U.S. News & World Report.

The photo of President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act into law is from 1964 and was taken by Warren K. Leffler of U.S. News & World Report.

The photos were downloaded from the Library of Congress.