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Fall 2020 Course A. The Turbulent ‘60s

Alumnae Continuing Education
Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 at 12:00 AM (CT) to Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020 at 12:00 AM (CT)

Course A. The Turbulent ‘60s

Tuesdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Instructors:  Faculty and Emeritus Faculty from Communication Studies, Economics, English, History, Oncology, and Political Science, and retired Northwestern senior administrators. 

This course meets on Tuesday mornings beginning on September 22nd. 

Social upheaval, massive demonstrations, a controversial war, significant Supreme Court decisions, economic worries, government policies for a better society, and a changing culture—no, not the present, but a deep dive into the Turbulent ‘60s. Learn what happened then and the ramifications of that era on society today.

Sep. 22 Introduction
Kevin Boyle, Professor, History

This talk sets the stage for the ‘60s by stopping by an ordinary side street in Chicago’s bungalow belt on the Fourth of July 1961. There, under the flags and the elms and the threat of rain, we’ll find a new perspective of the decade to come.

Sep. 29 Panel Discussion: Student Unrest at Northwestern
Please note extended time for this session only: 9:30-11:00 a.m.

Ken Janda, Professor Emeritus, Political Science: When Students Evicted the Faculty from Harris Hall.
Jack Hinz
, Retired, former Director of Admission and Dean of Students in the ‘60s: I Was in the Middle of It!
Jeff Rice
, Senior Lecturer, Political Science: A View of a Participant. What did the people on the barricades think during the protest? What was our view of the world? Of Northwestern? Of the events? What made us do what we did?
Eugene Sunshine
, Retired, Northwestern’s Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and a student in the ‘60s: What Did Students Think?

Oct. 6 Economic Legacy of the ‘60s
Robert Coen, Professor Emeritus, Economics
The ‘60s saw the launch of many progressive economic programs: most notably, a large tax cut to “Get America Moving Again”; the Alliance for Progress to aid Latin America; and the “Great Society” initiatives (War on Poverty; Medicare and Medicaid; Head Start; and National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities). We will look into what sparked this progressive agenda, the resistance to it, and, in hindsight, its successes and failures.

Oct. 13 Popular Culture in the ‘60s-Music, Film, TV, and Books
John M. Merrill, MD, former Professor of Oncology, Feinberg School of Medicine
This lecture will be about more than the music of the ‘60s. Music and film both influenced and reflected the upheavals of the decade. The “counterculture” of the ‘60s was a reaction to the norms of the time, particularly post-WWII values, and once started in the United States, spread around the world.

Oct. 20 Who Won the War on Poverty?
Henry Binford, Associate Professor, History Department
More than fifty years later, policy makers, scholars, and journalists still debate the wisdom and consequences of Lyndon Johnson’s ambitious efforts to improve economic opportunity for Americans. This lecture will explore where the “war” came from, what strategies it included, what it did and did not accomplish, how it became controversial, and why it keeps coming up in public discussions of inequality. 

Oct. 27 Time Warps: American Novelists and Poets of the (‘40s, ‘50s) ‘60s, (‘70s and ‘80s).
Bill Savage, English Department, Academic Adviser
What do we mean when we say “‘60s American literature”? Books written between 1960 and 1969? Or books set in, or “about,” the 1960s, written later? Or books written earlier but culturally influential during the 60s? This lecture will address literature’s significance during the 1960s, and the 1960s significance in American literature since then. 

Nov. 3 That War: The Vietnam War 
Michael Sherry, Professor Emeritus, History
Why did the U.S. wage it? Why, and for whom, was it so disastrous? What legacies did it leave?

Nov. 10 SCOTUS in the ‘60s: The Legacy of the Warren Court
Jerry Goldman, Professor Emeritus, Political Science
This lecture will examine the lasting legacy of the Supreme Court in the 1960s. The Warren Court breathed new life into the Bill of Rights. The swift change wrought by Earl Warren and others – and resisted by some older icons – slowed. However, the leadership qualities of the new Chief Justice were no match for his predecessor.

Nov. 17 The Rhetoric of the 1960s
David Zarefsky, Professor Emeritus, Communication
Studies and former Dean of the School of Communication Topics covered will include public speeches and presidential leadership; the rise and fall of Cold War rhetoric; The New Frontier and The Great Society; justifying and challenging the war in Vietnam; new forms of protest rhetoric; the 1968 election and the triumph of conservatism.

Information is subject to change. Full course and policy descriptions are available at


• Each 9-week online course is $125.00.  Registration pays for access to a live webinar and limited-time access to a recording of each week’s 75-minute session.

• There are no multi-course discounts.

Per Diem pricing is not available for these courses.


• Registrations can only be purchased online at  A payment card is required.  No other forms of payment can be accepted.  Neither the Norris Box Office nor the Alumnae Continuing Education group will process any other type of registration.  There are no exceptions.

• After registering for a course, you should receive a registration confirmation message from the Norris Box Office.  It will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.  Though it is not your entry to the ZOOM class, it is important that you locate the confirmation as soon as possible. If you don't receive an email, it could mean that there is a problem with how the email address is listed in our system.  A typo in your email address could result in the Zoom link being lost.  You can correct your information by logging in at, clicking on your name in the purple bar at the top, and then on Edit Profile.

• To access the first webinar on September 22, your online registration must be completed by midnight, Friday, September 18, 2020. If you register on September 19 or later, we cannot guarantee timely entry to the course on September 22, the first day.

• If you cannot attend the live-streaming of the session, you will be sent a separate link with a passcode to give you access to the recording of the session for six days, ending when the next session begins.

Your Zoom link and passcode are specific to your email and may not be shared.

• Given the limitations presented by the pandemic, support from customer service will be limited to email correspondence.  Please contact with any service issues.

Linking to Live Sessions

• At least 24 hours (but not more than 48 hours) before the start of each of the nine sessions, you will be emailed a Zoom link for the session by Norris Technical Services from You will also receive an email reminder with the link one hour prior to the start of each session. Please check your spam or junk folder if you don't see the email in your inbox.

• Plan on clicking on the Zoom link and joining the online session at least 10 minutes before the session begins.

Your Zoom link is specific to your email address and may not be shared.

• For a detailed guide on using Zoom, please click on the Alumnae Continuing Education Zoom Information Sheet here

Limited Access to Recorded Sessions

• If you cannot attend the live-streaming of the session, you may still view the recorded session for a limited time.

• You will be sent a separate link with a pass code to give you access to the recording of the session for six days, ending when the next session begins. 

• Your Zoom link and passcode are specific to your email and may not be shared.

    • Recordings CANNOT be downloaded.

    Refund Policy

    • If you intend to withdraw from a course, you must purchase a $10.00 cancellation fee by Sunday, September 20, 2020. A full refund will be processed to the payment card used for the initial purchase.

    • Registrations purchased after the start of the first session cannot be refunded.

    • No refunds will be given once the first webinar begins.

    • Credits are not given for future classes.

    • Contact the if you would like to transfer to another class offered during the same quarter.  There is no additional cost.  But you will have to wait until the following week to access the new course links.  Transfers may not be possible after the registration period ends.

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    Online ticket sales ended on 9/28/2020 at 11:59 PM (CT)

    Event Location
    Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive Evanston, IL 60208

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