An Interdisciplinary Conference
at the University of Texas at Austin
October 10th-12th, 2008


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The year 1968 has become a central myth for the twentieth century, the purported moment of origin for "the present" -- for current politics, culture, and academics.

This conference commemorates the 40th anniversary of 1968 by calling for a reassessment of its local and global impacts, its icons, myths, and images, the traces and absences left in its wake, and the intellectual and cultural legacies that we are still working through, as the collective memory of participants fades into a post-memory of still-incomplete projects of modernization, globalization, and liberation.

The conference aims to create interdisciplinary discussions of the many different 1968 experiences and projects that can be recovered in global, national, and international frameworks. Flashpoints, major players, artistic responses in all media and genres, and (re)theorizings of 1968 and its legacy are all possible themes for conference participation (see the list for initial suggestions). Participation is open to scholars from all disciplines and national/cultural studies areas, and at all levels.

The conference will highlight several keynote speakers, including prominent public intellectuals, theorists and academics. These include Professor Kathleen Cleaver, of Yale and Emory Law School, and Professor Michael Hardt, of Duke University. Cleaver is a prominent civil rights activist, author and editor, and former Black Panther. Hardt is an acclaimed literary theorist and political philosopher, author of Gilles Deleuze and co-author with Antonio Negri of Labor of Dionysus, Empire, and Multitude.

Several programs are being organized for the week around the centerpiece academic conference and public lectures. Tentative plans include:

  • a 1968 Film Series, with opening commentaries and Q & A sessions
  • a mini-conference on Latin and Spanish American 1968s
  • a mini-conference on music
  • roundtable discussions

Details and further information on keynotes and special events will be provided as they become available on this website; check back frequently.


Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers that explore the repercussions of this important year and that draw connections between 1968 and the present politically, culturally, and socially. A list of possible topics is appended to this page.

Submit your abstract of 150-250 words in an email (no attachments) to by 15 June 2008, along with a brief biographical statement (max. 250 words) that can be used to introduce you. Please put "ABSTRACT: 1968 Conference" in the header of your email. Full panels of three papers may also be proposed (please submit all papers and biographies together in a single email), but there will be no guarantee that they will be accepted as stands.

There are no registration fees for this conference, but attendees who are not giving papers will be encouraged to register for the mailing list at the same address. Please put "INFORMATION REQUEST: 1968 Conference" in the header of your email. A block of rooms will be reserved at a local hotel for participants' convenience; flop space will be arranged by and for graduate students.

For all information, consult the website, which will be updated with the very latest at all points. In the case of missing information, contact the organizing committee at

Download Call for Papers as pdf file.