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Maps and Cityscapes
People and the Humanities


The "Road Hog" bus, El Rito, New Mexico, Fourth of July parade, 1968. Buses, decorated in psychedelic colors, provided a home on the road as groups staged protests and created happenings.
© Lisa Law A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971

The focus this week is on the counterculture of the 1960s. In the Lecture, Professor Mayer discusses the sources and elements of the counterculture, including the music that represented the counterculture, religious, sexual, and lifestyle experimentation, and the reasons why it was reabsorbed into mainstream society. He also looks at regional counterculture with Missoula and Seattle as examples.

Maps and Cityscapes and Tribal Perspectives both examine the occupation of Alcatraz Island, with Maps presenting photographs of the island and the occupation and Tribal Perspectives telling of the occupation as well as two other events that sparked the rise of tribal self-determination.

People and the Humanities profiles Washington and Montana writer Richard Brautigan, author of Trout Fishing in America. We also discuss the rise and fall of New Journalism. The Research section presents our top reading and viewing picks for this topic.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • We speak this week of “The” counterculture. Was the counterculture really this unified? If not, what elements did a movement or idea need to be considered part of the counterculture?
  • Why did the counterculture arise when it did and why was it so readily reabsorbed into mainstream society?
  • What elements of the counterculture are still visible in American culture today? Why did they remain and are they still considered “counter” to the mainstream? What elements disappeared and why?
  • If you are not working in this time period, consider looking for “countercultures” within your period and asking the above questions about them.