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Conference: Considering the Counterculture: A History in Ideas

September 27, 2019 · 211 Dickinson

Program in American Studies

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a generation of young Americans sought to create lives and build communities which were outside of mainstream American norms and practices. They looked in new directions for spiritual fulfillment, experimented with communal living arrangements, pushed back against established practices, challenged notions of expertise, and offered tools for living which simultaneously embraced technological innovation and rued modernity. Their ideas, aspirations, and experiences were varied and took many different forms. Collectively, however, they created a “counterculture.”


This two-day conference aims to take the counterculture seriously. What influenced and shaped the ideas of the counterculture? What realities did the counterculture aim to recreate? What did it mean to participate in the counterculture? How should we think about the legacy of the counterculture in this moment?


The conference reexamines well-known events, persons, and movements, and explores themes long-forgotten, never discovered, and obfuscated by the larger historical narrative, in an effort to write the counterculture back into it.


The keynote address entitled “Small Planet, Big Crises, and Hope Through Democratic Action” will be delivered by Frances Moore Lappé (Small Planet Institute) on Friday, September 27 at 4:30 pm.


Frances Moore Lappé is the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. Her latest work is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, coauthored with Adam Eichen, focusing on the roots of the U.S. democracy crisis and how Americans are creatively responding to the challenge. Frances is co-founder of Oakland-based Food First and the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute, which she leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. The recipient of nineteen honorary degrees, Frances has been a visiting scholar at MIT and the University of California, Berkeley and in 1987 received the Right Livelihood Award, often called the “Alternative Nobel.”


For full conference schedule, please visit: https://counterculture.princeton.edu


Organized by the Program in American Studies. Supported by the Humanities Council, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Center for Collaborative History, Princeton Environmental Institute, University Center for Human Values, Center for the Study of Religion, and Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy.

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