Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Covering 1968

A while back I was asked to help behind the scenes (way behind the scenes!) with an upcoming museum exhibition on the year 1968. The Oakland Museum of California is a partner, and I spent a day there offering thoughts on the game plan, which sounds very cool.

The working title is the 1968 Project, and Brian Horrigan has created a weblog to get the ball rolling. I bring it up now because Brian posted this week about Ramparts and its coverage of the 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago.

When reflecting on 1968, it's easy to focus on the political turbulence and miss a wealth of other cultural material. The risk there, perhaps, is to view the politics as unmoored from its social context. My sense is that the Project 1968 team is working hard to see that year steadily and whole--no small task.

One of the serendipitous outcomes of my day at the museum was meeting David Gans, the musician who hosts KPFA's show on the Grateful Dead. Since then, I've visited with David more, read quite a lot about the Dead, and even visited the new archive at UC Santa Cruz (Nicholas Meriwether, proprietor). David also appeared at my California culture class to discuss the Dead and play a song he wrote about Jerry Garcia. Which was a lot more fun than anything in my undergraduate education. (The classroom part, anyway.)

By coincidence, I'll be at the Oakland Museum today on California Studies Association business. The museum has been a good partner over the years, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about their plans.



At 8:18 PM , Blogger skip heller said...

great post. read your mcwilliams book (and loved it), now jumping into your site.


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