On May 28, 2913 Indiana University Press published The Socialist Sixties: Crossing Borders in the Second World co-edited by Diane P. Koenker and Anne E. Gorsuch. The volume is the culmination of the international conference “The Socialist 1960s: Popular Culture and the Socialist City in Global Perspective” hosted on June 24-26, 2010 by the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center under the aegis of its annual Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum.
A cross-disciplinary conference targeting “cutting edge” approaches in current research, the Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum is held annually during the REEEC Summer Research Laboratory. The 2010 Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum continued this tradition of multidisciplinary, international conferences by bringing together literary and film scholars, historians, anthropologists and ethno-musicologists. They focused on socialist societies of the 1960s to explore global connections and patterns of cultural cross-fertilization in a historical period when the discourse about the segmentation of the globe into “Three Worlds” was at its highpoint. The forum was structured around cities as the units of analysis, and it focused on the arena of popular culture as played out in urban spaces. Papers dealt with one of three realms of urban popular culture – media (including cinema, television, popular music); material culture (including spaces and their uses as well as commodities), and leisure (including tourism and other activities).
The volume The Socialist Sixties, which came out of this conference, continues these themes and explores, more specifically, the flows of people and media; the emergence of a flourishing youth culture; the sharing of songs, films, and personal experiences through tourism and international festivals; and the rise of a socialist consumer culture and an aesthetics of modernity. By providing a venue through the Ralph Fisher Forum for cross-disciplinary scholarship, the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center helped bring the sixties problematic to Soviet studies and supported the introduction of the socialist experience into scholarly conversations traditionally dominated by First World perspectives. This conference and the collection of articles that emerged from it was made possible by the generous support of the Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers Program and the Ralph and Ruth Fisher Endowment.
For more information on the volume The Socialist Sixties or to purchase a copy, click here.