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Coming Down Fast! Replaying the 1960s
Wolverhampton, July 1998


COMING DOWN FAST! replaying the 1960s
90s thinking about words, images, cultures and directions in the 60s
A Conference, July 10-12 1998
The University of Wolverhampton
Light House Media and Conference Centre

The 1960s are an endlessly celebrated and interrogated decade. As we move
towards the barricades of the century this conference will turn back to
the cultural texts, histories, legacies and energies which characterised
the 60s in order to bid them farewell . . . or bring them home. 

Speakers so far include: Clive Bloom, Germaine Greer, Dick Hebdige,
Patricia Waugh and Imelda Whelehan

"It's a fact that people's everyday lives have changed from the early
sixties to now...  movements have really changed our whole lives, our
mentality, our attitudes, and the attitudes and mentality of other
people-people who do not belong to these movements" (Michel Foucault). 

"The revolution of everyday life cannot draw its poetry from the past, but
only from the future" (Internationale Situationniste). 

Thirty years ago the 60s seemed to be ending as a rebellious and
revolutionary failure. However, the events of the decade and the
intervening period have confirmed that culture, and the way we think about
it, had fundamentally changed. A body of critical thinking had emerged
which regrounded politics in the fabric of the social and the cultural.
But this very fabric had already been unpicked and rewoven earlier in the
60s.  Experiments, utopias, disenchantments and mythologies co-exist in
the products and movements of the period. Perhaps the 60s hold the key, or
the mirror, to our own epoch. Perhaps they explain our rebellious
nostalgias, our dreams of change, or our acceptance of the long revolution
whose end is already forgotten. Were the 60s the dissenting tract, the
programme guide, or the colour supplement which lay in hiding in the
second volume of the twentieth century? COMING DOWN FAST! aims to analyse
and debate the culture and cultural products of the 1960s through a range
of media and practices. Although the emphasis will be upon UK culture, the
conference will necessarily be broad and interactive. Papers on all
aspects of writing, art, music, film and politics are invited. Topics
already proposed include: the 60s and the intellectual tradition;
avant-garde art and performance; 90s literary representations of the 60s;
resisting America; race in 60s Britain; women and the underground press;
British psychedelia; the culture of images; the impact of French radical

Proposals for 20 minute papers are invited. Please let us know if you
intend to submit a proposal, or if you have any suggestions for panels and
themes. It is hoped that a selection of films and an exhibition will be
running concurrently at the conference venue. 

Address proposals and enquiries to: 

Gerry Carlin, Mark Jones, Ben Colbert, Mair Evans or Frank Wilson
Division of English
University of Wolverhampton
Castle View
West Midlands
email: or
tel: +44-(0)1902 323478
fax: +44-(0)1902 323379

Conference Website: