1st AISNA Graduate Forum Conference

September 28, 2018

Centro Studi Americani

Roma, Italy


Jeffrey C. Stewart 

UC Santa Barbara


Rethinking 1968 and the Global Sixties


2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the protests of 1968, the moment in which several grassroots movements converged in their fights against social injustices and discrimination of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. From the civil rights movement to the anti-Vietnam War movement, the women’s movement and the environmental movement, the events of the Global Sixties were the culmination of a broad wave of activism that continued into the mid 1970s and beyond. This period was also paramount in reshaping the role of “hyphenated Americans.” Notions of citizenship were expanded and democratic principles and practices re-envisioned, pushed in new directions.

In situating 1968 in this broad timespan, the first AISNA Graduate Forum Conference aims at investigating the origins, the evolution, the dynamics and legacies of 1960s protest movements. Which kind of connection do current movements for social and civil rights such as Black Lives Matter or the Women’s March have with those of 1968? Which traces did the sixties counterculture leave in the music, media and film production of the following years?

AISNA Graduate Forum invites graduate students and early career researchers to send abstracts that investigate the origins and history of 1968 in every aspect of American culture, literature and history.We are also interested in rethinking the legacy of this period to reframe the debate about American racist and far right demonstrations and their influence on past and present American narratives and politics. The questions below are reflective of the theme and scope of the conference, but topics beyond these questions are welcome.

  • The opening up of American literary canon after 1960s social protests;
  • Post-Civil Rights African American literature; legacies and criticism of the Black Arts Movement (BAM);
  • The impact of the protests of 1968 on postcolonial critique;the influence of 1968 on the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, or other recent radical or leftist movements;
  • The impact and legacy of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Chicano movement;
  • Feminist and womanist discourse after 1968;
  • 1960s in literature, film, music and the visual arts and media and pop culture portrayals of 1960s and mass protest;
  • The impact of 1960s alternative media on mainstream publishing and the impact of 1960s political activism on institutions;
  • The impact of 1968 in labour movement’s historiography and historical changes in historiographic representation of 1960’s social movements;
  • Movements of decolonization and national liberation and the new social movements (feminism, LGBTQ,…);
  • The environmental discourse and environmental justice;the transnational connections and interplays between progressive protests in a global context.



We encourage interdisciplinary approaches, and we welcome pre-formed panels and roundtables alongside traditional papers.



  • 300-word abstracts for individual presentations;
  • 700-word abstracts for entire sessions (panels, roundtables)
  • Each speaker’s bio (300 words max).



DEADLINE: July 15, 2018



Thanks to the generous support of the U.S. Embassy in Rome, AISNA is able to offer 10 grants (100 € each) to support travel and accommodation expenses for graduate and early career AISNA members. Priority will be given to participants according to the distance traveled to reach the conference venue. For information on how to become a member of AISNA, visit:



We look forward to receiving your proposals and seeing you in Rome!