Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Scholars in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences need to understand the significance of the social and cultural changes that have taken place since the Second World War. This unit examines the various ways in which key issues and events in the long 1960s have been understood across a range of disciplines. This honours-level unit requires students to extend their studies in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences by exploring related disciplinary understandings of the controversial events, thinkers and cultural producers that shaped the key cultural movements and their legacies in the late twentieth century. The aim of the unit is to deepen students' understanding of their own discipline area and broaden their contextual knowledge through connecting their own disciplinary perspectives to other approaches, methodologies and conceptual frameworks in the Arts, Humanities and Social Science disciplines.


This unit is available to Honours students in a range of disciplines in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Articulate and apply advanced theoretical knowledge across a range of disciplines to the significant issues and events of the late twentieth century (GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Critically analyse and evaluate complex debates and ideas across a range of disciplines, by generating and transmitting sustained arguments in relation to them (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Relate advanced discipline-specific skills to transform and transmit information to complete a range of activities (GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics may include:

  • Postmodernity as theoretical and cultural practice
  • Radical and reactionary politics of the 1960s and 1970s
  • Postwar global economic order and theories of late capitalism
  • Decolonisation and the global pan-Indigenous movement
  • The rise of new social movements, including civil rights, second-wave feminism and gay liberation
  • Awareness of and responses to the global environmental crisis
  • Class and selfhood in the era of mass consumption
  • New age spiritualities and countercultural currents in established religions
  • Countercultural subcultures
  • Cultural and artistic movements of the counterculture (rock and roll, folk, beat poetry, postmodern art, the psychedelic movement etc)
  • Innovation, technology and new media in the information age.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Multi-mode: Workshops, web consultation, online seminars, online collaborative annotation of readings, computer workshops, online research tasks, and online seminar presentations.

This multidisciplinary unit at the honours-level enables students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their own discipline and provides them with broader disciplinary perspectives on the production of scholarship. Through engagement and dialogue between disciplines, this unit promotes an important self-reflexivity in relation to their own discipline. Through this approach, students will come to understand the value of interdisciplinary approaches to the production of knowledge in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The unit embraces active learning involving online activities through which students will:


1) Gain a deep understanding of the content covered in the unit.

The activities in this unit include reading, writing, discussion and online debates aimed at promoting analysis and synthesis of class content. Students will examine a range of perspectives in order to understand the complex relationships between disciplinary approaches to the key events and issues that shaped the long 1960s.


2) Acquire, develop and hone skills fundamental to their discipline.

This will include the sharpening of skills relevant to their discipline including the ability to understand disciplinary methodologies, and how they intersect with methodologies in other disciplines, identify high-quality secondary sources and incorporate them into their own research and analysis. Students will acquire the ability to take a position within debates and to communicate their findings in a scholarly manner.

150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 24 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 24 hours. The directed study may include online lectures, tutorials, webinars, discussion boards, advanced library and database challenges, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then become private study to complete readings, research, prepare seminar presentations or assessment tasks for the unit. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit Learning Outcomes and develop Graduate Attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each Learning Outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks.

The first assessment task develops a broad understanding of the range of disciplinary perspectives and approaches to the significant changes that took place from the 1960s. This requires students to synthesise and critically engage with unit content through collaborative annotation and reading of key texts, as well as through reflecting on the possibilities and limits of research in digital repositories.

The second task requires students to communicate their own disciplinary knowledge to their peers in an online forum and for all students to engage with and respond to the perspectives of others. This task will develop advanced online skills and will enhance students’ digital literacy.


The third assessment invites students to explore in-depth a particular aspect of the long 1960s through the lens of their own discipline.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Online tasks:

During the unit, students will complete activities that demonstrate understanding of key concepts and build skills in digital literacy, problem solving and creativity. These will be designed to connect to their own discipline as well as the multidisciplinary resources of the unit. These include collaborative annotation of texts as well as small exercises on conducting research in digital repositories of 1960s social movements.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Seminar Paper or multimodal presentation:

Students will present their research and critically engage with the presentations of their fellow students.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3

Written Essay:

Students will prepare a research essay in their disciplinary area that responds to one of the key themes of the unit and include a reflection on the learning experience of interdisciplinary inquiry in that research.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bach, Damon R. The American Counterculture: A History of Hippies and Cultural Dissidents. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2020. 

De la Croix, St. Sukie. Out of the Underground: Homosexuals, the Radical Press and the Rise and Fall of the Gay Liberation Front. Cathedral City, CA: Rattling Good Yarns Press, 2019. 

Doss, Erika. Twentieth-Century American Art. Oxford University Press, 2002. 

Häberlen, Joachim C., Mark Keck-Szajbel, and Kate Mahoney. The Politics of Authenticity: Countercultures and Radical Movements Across the Iron Curtain, 1968-1989. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019. 

McKay, George, Summer of Love: Psychedelic Art, Social Crisis and Countercultures in the 1960s. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2005. 

Rorabaugh, William Joseph. American Hippies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 

Roszak, Theodore. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Berkeley: University of California Press, [1969] 1995. 

Sipress, Joel M. Fire in the Streets: The Social Crisis of the 1960s. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. 

Vinen, Richard. 1968: Radical Protest and its Enemies. London: Allen Lane, 2018. 

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