News | 27 March 2018

The Spirit of 1968


Looking ahead to the Spring Quarter, we look back at what lessons the dramatic events of 1968—a year of upheavals in Mexico City and Memphis, Prague and Paris, Beijing and beyond—may hold for today.

Fifty years later, when many Americans—and people around the world—seem as entrenched as ever in their own narrow perspectives and politics, we remain committed to fostering the kind of critical thinking and curiosity that brings down walls and builds up communities.

Thanks to generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this year we’ve refined our public programming and launched our first foray into curricula around a core theme: “Freedom and Race.” All year we’ve been dedicated to tackling the most vexing questions surrounding the historic struggle of people around the world to be free. In that time, we’ve unveiled a new name, a new website, and our first-ever class. We’ve also brought the Santa Cruz community together for standing-room-only events featuring the kind of thoughtful dialogue that digs deeper—and lasts longer—than 280 characters.

As we embark on the Spring Quarter, The Humanities Institute is thrilled to continue “Freedom and Race” with our Night at the Museum event—“Global 1968.” We hope you will join us to commemorate and interrogate the dramatic events of 1968—the year cities around the globe erupted in protests demanding fundamental change.

Sound familiar? By investigating where we’ve come from, The Humanities Institute believes we may all learn lessons for today.

So, stay curious. Come out to our events this spring. The conversation continues with you.

Until then, thanks for being a part of our community, thinking together about questions that matter.


Irena and Nathaniel

Irena Polic, Managing Director, The Humanities Institute
Nathaniel Deutsch, Director, The Humanities Institute

Image courtesy of the Birmingham Museum of Art
“I Am a Man: Sanitation Workers Strike” by Ernest Withers