In our current moment, with a nearly global sense that the present situation is untenable and that there remains intense interest in the possibility of radical social change, many people are looking for models, political imaginaries, and forgotten futures we might return to. With this in mind, contributors to “1968 Decentered,” a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly guest-edited by Jonathan Flatley and Robert Bird, explore the practices and projects occurring in or around 1968 that were trying to alter the structures of power. In doing so, they refresh, reinvigorate, and expand our sense of what is possible.
The contributors represent 1968 not as an event that reverberated from the center outwards in ripples of more or less proximate consequences, but as the moment when events on the peripheries reverberated at the center as fissures in the basic structures of power. The issue also includes the section “The New Feminist Internationale,” which is free to read for six months. Start reading here, or pick up a copy of the issue.
For more explorations of 1968, don’t miss these books and journal issues:
1968 Mexico: Constellations of Freedom and Democracy by Susana Draper offers a nuanced perspective of the 1968 movement in Mexico. Draper challenges the dominant cultural narrative of the movement that has emphasized the importance of the October 2nd Tlatelolco Massacre and the responses of male student leaders. From marginal cinema collectives to women’s cooperative experiments, Draper reveals new archives of revolutionary participation that provide insight into how 1968 and its many afterlives are understood in Mexico and beyond.
In “Legacies of ’68“, an issue of Cultural Politics edited by Morgan Adamson and Sarah Hamblin, contributors discuss the historical significance and cultural legacies of 1968 from the vantage point of contemporary politics. Focusing on the year’s geographical scope and epistemological legacies, the authors map out the global connections between the various movements that comprise 1968 and trace the legacies of these ideas to examine how the year continues to shape political, cultural, and social discourse on both the left and the right.
In Speaking of Flowers: Student Movements and the Making and Remembering of 1968 in Military Brazil, Victoria Langland offers an innovative study of student activism during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964–85) and an examination of the very notion of student activism, which changed dramatically in response to the student protests of 1968.