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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: HIS3001 Module Title: THE 1960'S
Module Provider: English Short Name: DG01X
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: FLETCHER T Dr (English)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Qualifying Condition(s)
Essay (100% of total assessment)
1 written essay of 2500 - 3000 words

The assessment is designed to ensure that the students meet the learning outcomes for this module and demonstrate an assured capacity for independent learning.
The formative assessment will take the form of short written pieces and critiques in group and class discussion. This will provide the students with opportunities to present work that will provide feedback before the formal assignment is undertake.
The essay provides the opportunity for the student to develop communication skills and to research, critically analyse, and draw appropriate conclusions. It will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the module and show the student’s ability to integrate the appropriate methodologies
Module Overview
This compulsory module at level 3 explores one of the most controversial decades of the twentieth century from an interdisciplinary perspective. Supporting modules (Britain in the World since 1945, Twentieth Century Utopian and Dystopian Writing, and English Art and Modernism) in each individual discipline take up the themes introduced in this module. How can we separate myth and reality in our understanding of the decade, and why might this matter?
60 credits at Level 2, or equivalent.
Module Aims
  • To introduce the student to the framework and history of the 1960s and its relevance in the twentieth century, from an international perspective (Britain, America, France and, as a case study, Prague), and to develop their understanding to a high level.
  • To explore the new ideologies that have come from the period.
  • To analyse the cultural identity of the period more fully through a detailed study of literature and the arts.
  • To allow the student to evaluate the evidence critically using a wide range of materials.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
  • Demonstrate a rounded and detailed knowledge of the period from a cultural, historical and philosophical perspective.
  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of changing historiographical approaches to this period.
Cognitive / Intellectual Skills
  • Appraise critically a considerable variety of data, both written and visual with confidence in the conclusions related, without guidance.
  • Select and manage the resources available, presenting a coherent and detailed analysis as a result either individually or with others, again in an independent manner.
Key / Transferable / Practical Skills
  • To present their considered work orally and written in academic format without guidance.
  • To lead and take part in group discussion, occasionally synthesising the opinions and ideas of the group they are in.
  • To demonstrate skills of time management of complex assignments and working to deadlines.
In order to achieve the threshold standard for the award of credits for this module, the student must meet the following criteria related to the learning outcomes described above:
  • Some understanding of the events, issues and ideas that have been considered during the course.
  • Some ability to analyse and critically assess the material the student has been dealing with
  • Evidence of synthesis of materials in written and oral assignments
  • Ability to present work in the appropriate academic form
Module Content
In this interdisciplinary module the module will be divided into three teaching periods to encompass the history, literature and art of the period: with an introductory and a concluding session.
Students will consider some of the upheavals of the decade and will be expected to analyse the ways in which these have had a continuing effect on society. The History component focuses on:

The rise of moves towards equality in race, gender and minority interests, including the American experience of Civil Rights, and compartive discussion of early feminist issues. 

The rise of a separate youth culture (the ‘Swinging-Sixties’) and its effect on the latter part of the decade including the student revolts of 1968. 

The impact of societal changes: this will include consideration of the 'Permissive Society', including the issues of abortion and contraception. 

Philosophical issues such as Situationism and the rise of post-modernism will be addressed within the historical content.
The literature section of this course has two foci. First we will examine texts which engage with some of the issues raised in the course’s history component. We will look at women and the nuclear family in relation to Lynne Reid Banks’s The L-Shaped Room.
Homosexuality and censorship in relation to John Osborne’s A Patriot For Me (students are advised to investigate the production history of this play). 1968, the year of protest, will be considered in relation to Trevor Griffiths’s The Party. The second focus of this component is ‘writing of the sixties’. Here we will examine some poetry of the sixties, a piece of American writing, and a novel by Angela Carter, one of the major British novelists working in the period.
Art History
The material will be organised in four main themes, which integrate with the main themes of the course. The main focus is on the visual production of Britain and America. Cultural concepts of modernism and post modernism may be addressed in the analysis of artistic change
The Visual and Youth Culture
This theme explores the connections between fine art and design, particularly graphic design and youth culture in the period. Aspects of product design and fashion design may also be included, emphasising concepts of change, innovation and the youth market.
Art – Commodification and Anti-commodification
In art, the later manifestations of modernism (Abstract Expressionism, Post-painterly Abstraction) eschewed an obvious connection with the modern world and discourses that surrounded them obscured the status of art works as commodities in the art world. This section explores artistic attitudes to commodity culture. It addresses the way that Pop art engages with this culture from the late 1950s onwards via case studies such as the contrast between the engagement with consumer culture of British Pop artists such as Richard Hamilton and the American Andy Warhol. It also examines developments such happenings which explicitly questioned the commodity status of art by their refusal to engage with conventional modes of presentation and distribution.
Art and the Permissive Society (Or Art and Sexuality)
This theme contains three aspects. The overtly erotic and sexual art of the period is explored in the context of the concept of permissiveness. Artists covered could include Kienholz, Wesselman and Allen Jones. The overt and covert articulation of homosexuality in art is explored, with a particular study of Hockney and Jasper Johns. The issue of the emergence of proto- and early feminism in art is explored particularly through performance art and the happening.
Art and Politics
This theme examines those artists in the period who reject the modernist principle that art is diminished by social or political content. The relationship between the growth of social and political protest and artistic developments will be explored.   A key theme is opposition to the war in Vietnam and this will be explored via individual artist pieces such as Keinholz’s Portable War Memorial and Rosenquist’s F111  or the attempts to frame anti-commercial collective artistic responses to the wider political situation.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
12 x 2 hour sessions (or equivalent)

The Teaching and Learning Strategy is designed to ensure that students are able to display the knowledge and skills outlined in the learning outcomes for this module. Strategies adopted will encourage students to interact in classroom and group discussion and to reflect on their own learning. Close analysis of a variety of primary and secondary sources in all three disciplines will develop critical understanding of key issues. This interdisciplinary prescribed module will be taught by a small team of subject specialists who will remain in close contact for the duration of the module to ensure that the overall teaching strategy is coherent throughout.
The Teaching and Learning Method will include a mixture of lecture, group work and self-directed learning. Handouts outlining key issues may also be used to encourage a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. Visual aids such as slides and video footage will also accompany some sessions where relevant. Interdisciplinary sessions on specified themes are included in this module to further develop student’s interdisciplinary skills in preparation for their formal assessment
Selected Texts/Journals
Essential Texts
Banks, L. R. (2004) The L-shaped room, Vintage
Griffiths, T. (1974) The Party, London Faber & Faber
Harrison, C. & Wood, P. (eds) (1992) Art in Theory 1900-1990, Blackwell, Oxford.
Marwick, A. (1998) The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy and the U.S.A. c. 1958-1974, Oxford, Oxford University Press
Osborne, J. (1966) A Patriot and Me, original publication; various editions since 1966
Recommended Reading
Burgess, A. (1962) Clockwork orange, London, Penguin
Carter, A. (1966) Shadow Dance, London, Virago
Carter, A. (1967) The Magic Toyshop, London, Penguin 1988
Carter, A. (1968) Several Perceptions, London, Virago
Peach, L. (1998) Angela Carter, London,Macmillan
Pynchon, T. (1966) The Crying Lot of 49, London, Cape
Pinter, H. (1960) The Caretaker, London, Methuen,1982
Waugh, P. (1995) The Harvest of the Sixties; English literature and its background 1960-1990, Oxford, Oxford University Press 
Other Indicative Reading
Archer, M. (1997) Art Since the 1960s
Bloom, A. (1996) Takin’ it to the streets: sixties reader, Oxford, Oxford University Press
Caute, D. (1988) Sixty-eight: the year of the London, Cultural Revolution: the challenge of the arts in the 1960s, London, Hamilton
Connolly, R. (1995) In the Sixties, London, Pantion
Crow, T. (1996) The Rise of the Sixties. American and European art in the age of dissent, 1955-1969, London, Everyman’s Art Library
Davies, C. (1975) Pemissive Britain: social change in the sixties and seventies, London, Pitman
De Groot, G J. (1999) Student Protest: The Sixties and After, London, Longman
Farber, D. (ed) (1994) The Sixties: from memory to history, Carolina, University of Carolina P.
Ferguson, Russell (ed) (1993) Handpainted Pop – American Art in Transition 1955-62, Rizzoli International Publications for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Frascina, Francis (1999) Art, Politics and Dissent, Manchester University Press
Fraser, R. (1988) A student generation in revolt, London, Chatto & Windus
Frith, S. (1987) Art into Pop. Inside the Prisoner; radical television and film in the 1960’s, London,Methuen
Harrison, C. & Wood, P. (eds) (1992) Art in Theory 1900-1990, Blackwell, Oxford
Haskell, Barbara (1984) Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance Art 1958-64, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Jamison, A. (1994) Seeds of the Sixties:  San Francisco, University of California Press
Levi, N.B. (1970) The pendulum years: Britain and the sixties. London, Cape
Lippard, R. et al. (1970) Pop Art, Thames & Hudson World of Art, 3rd ed, London
Livingstone, Marco (ed) (1991) Pop Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Mellor, D. (1993) The Sixties Art Scene in London. London,Phaidon
Melly, George (1970) Revolt into Style: The Pop Arts in Britain, Penguin, London
Menil Collection, Houston (2001) Pop Art – US/UK Connections 1956-1966, Hantje Cantz Publishers, Germany
Miyama, Christin J. (1992) Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Super Market, University of Texas Press
Neville, R. (1996) Hippie, Hippee Shake...the sixties, London, Bloomsbury
Peacock, J. (1997) 1960sReassessing the sixties: debating the political and cultural legacy, London, W.W.Norton
Reid Banks, L. (1960) The L-Shaped Room, Harmondsworth Penguin
Sadler, I. (1988) American Art of the 1960s, Harper & Row

Suarez, J. (1996) Bike boys, drag queens, Indiana, Indiana University Press
Wheeler, D. (1993) Art since mid-century, London,Thames and Hudson
Whiting, Cecile (1997) A Taste for Pop – Pop Art, Gender and Consumer Culture, Cambridge University Press
Wood, P. et al. (1993) Modernism in dispute. Art since the forties, New Haven & London,Yale University Press
Zemian, Z.N.P. (1969) Prague spring: a report of Czechoslovakia, 1968. London, Penguin
Other sources (primary and secondary) will be introduced to students at appropriate points in the module. Contemporary films may be recommended.

Last Updated

19 August 2008