2013 March 08—The Republic of Rock

talk @ john evans alumni center, northwestern university.

Title: “The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture”
Presenter: Dr. Michael Kramer
Date: Friday, March 8
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: John Evans Alumni Center (1800 Sheridan Rd. – Evanston, IL)
Doors open: 6:30 p.m.
Presentation begins: 6:45 p.m.
Reception with snacks and refreshments to follow
Free and open to the public

Description: Why did rock music matter so much to participants in the sixties counterculture? This multimedia presentation, drawn from Dr. Kramer’s book, The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture (Oxford University Press, 2013), explores how the music fostered inquiries into pressing issues of citizenship during the Vietnam War era. From the psychedelic ballrooms of San Francisco to the war zone itself in Southeast Asia and back again, rock’s sounds ricocheted around the globe. As people listened and responded to rock in San Francisco, Vietnam, and elsewhere, deeply interior issues of personal individuality collided with collective efforts to make sense of democratic community. A mobile public sphere appeared—what might best be described as an atmosphere of democracy or an invisible republic generated by sound. Dancing, feeling, thinking, wondering, exploring, and debating the nature of citizenship, countercultural participants turned the pleasures of rock toward the serious business of what citizenship was, and what it might be, in the modern world.

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