American sailors in the Lord Mayor’s Parade hoisted a North Vietnamese flag in the city centre. 1 These very brief vignettes from the Belfast of the mid- and late 1960s have two things in common. First, all three actions took as their point of reference events outside Northern Ireland. In this they reflected the greater openness to outside influences that had begun with the Second World War and continued and deepened in the new era of relative prosperity and optimism that followed. Second, none of the three movements involved could be fitted neatly into the simple two
This article considers the use made of William Blake by a range of writers associated with the ‘countercultural’ milieu of the 1960s, particularly those linked to its London-based literary context. Iain Sinclair is offered as a writer who, in his appreciation of Blake, stands apart from the poets linked to the anthology, Children of Albion (1969). The article unpacks this distinction, analysing Sinclair’s ‘topographic’ take in comparison to the ‘visionary’ mode of his contemporaries. Having established this dualism, the argument then questions the nature of the visionary poetics assumed to apply to the likes of key poets from the era. The work of Michael Horovitz is brought into view, as is that of Harry Fainlight. In essence, these multiple discourses point to the plurality of Blake as a figure of influence and the variation underpinning his literary utility in post-1960s poetry.
representations in the mind, via the infant’s everyday experience and interaction with objects. It was only behaviourists that challenged this theory, but as they had no replacement model for the development of subjectivity, all they could offer were criticisms rather than an alternative. However, by the 1960s, shifts began to take place that encouraged the development of new theories of
throughout the 1960s and 1970s took place in the context of dramatic changes in British society. Changing leisure patterns, demographic shifts, the growth of consumer culture, television, and new broadcast technologies like video and satellite all compounded the decline in cinema-going and a corresponding contraction of the cinema infrastructure. The period is one in which cinema exhibitors sought to distinguish the silver screen from the
This book excavates forgotten histories of solidarity which were vital to radical political imaginaries during the ‘long sixties’. It decentres the conventional Western focus of this critical historical moment by foregrounding transnational solidarity with, and across, anticolonial and anti-imperialist liberation struggles. It traces the ways in which solidarity was conceived, imagined and enacted in the border-crossings – of nation, race and class identifications – of grassroots activists.
Exiled revolutionaries in Uruguay, postcolonial migrants in Britain, and Greek communist refugees in East Germany campaigned for their respective causes from afar while identifying and linking up with liberation struggles in Vietnam and the Gulf and with civil rights movements elsewhere. Meanwhile, Arab migrants in France, Pakistani volunteers and Iraqi artists found a myriad of ways to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Neglected archives also reveal Tricontinental Cuban-based genealogies of artistic militancy, as well as stories of anticolonial activist networks and meetings in North America, Italy, the Netherlands and Sudan, forging connections with those freedom fighters attempting to overthrow Portuguese colonial rule in Africa. These entwined routes of the 1960s chart a complex map of transnational political recognition and radical interconnections.
Bringing together original research with contributions from veteran activists and artists, this interdisciplinary volume explores how transnational solidarity was expressed in and carried through the itineraries of migrants and revolutionaries, film and print cultures, art and sport, political campaigns and armed struggle. It presents a novel perspective on radical politics of the global sixties which remains crucial to understanding anti-racist solidarity today.
This book provides an account of the University of Manchester's struggle to meet the government's demands for the rapid expansion of higher education in the 1950s and the 1960s. It looks at the University's ambitious building programme: the controversial attempts to reform its constitution and improve its communications amid demands for greater democracy in the workplace, the struggle to retain its old pre-eminence in a competitive world where new ‘green field’ universities were rivalling older civic institutions. The book tells the story, not just from the point of view of administrators and academics, but also from those of students and support staff (such as secretaries, technicians and engineers). It not only uses official records, but also student newspapers, political pamphlets and reminiscences collected through interviews.
The exhibition Off Beat: Jeff Nuttall and the International Underground (8 September 2016 to 5 March 2017) showcases the archive of Jeff Nuttall (1933–2004), a painter, poet, editor, actor and novelist. As the exhibition illustrates, Nuttall was a central figure in the International Underground during the 1960s through to the early 1970s. During this time he collaborated with a vast network of avant-garde writers from across the globe, as well as editing the influential publication My Own Mag between 1963 and 1967.
This article discusses how we might formulate an account of William Blake’s avant-garde reception. Having dealt with Peter Bürger’s theorisation of the notion of ‘avant-garde’, it concentrates on a series of portraits, made from Blake’s life mask, by Francis Bacon in 1955. This ‘high art’ response to the Romantic poet is then contrasted with a series of ‘subcultural’ responses made from within the British counterculture of the 1960s. Case studies are presented from the alternative magazine production of the period (notably an illustration from Oz magazine in which Blake’s imagery is conflated with that of Max Ernst). An article by David Widgery in Oz on Adrian Mitchell’s play Tyger (1971) is also discussed to show how the scholarly literature on Blake of the period (mainly David Erdman) was called on by the counterculture to comment on political issues (e.g. Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech). The final section of the article shows how the ‘avant-gardism’ of Oz’s utilisation of Blake might be counterposed to the more activist left-wing approach to the poet in small magazines such as King Mob with their links to French situationism. In terms of the classic avant-garde call for a reintegration of art and life-praxis, such gestures testify to a moment in the 1960s when Blake may be considered fully ‘avant-garde’.
This article explores the more detached and ironic view of Blake that emerged in the 1970s compared to appropriations of him in the 1960s, as evident in three science-fiction novels: Ray Nelson’s Blake’s Progress (1977), Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve (1977), and J. G. Ballard’s The Unlimited Dream Company (1979). In adopting a more antagonistic posture towards Blake, all three of these books reflect increasingly ambivalent attitudes towards the countercultures of the 1960s, and can be read as critical of some of those very energies that the Romantic movement was seen to embody. Thus Nelson rewrites the relationship of William and Catherine, in which the engraver comes under the influence of a diabolic Urizen, while Carter recasts the Prophet Los as a Charles Manson-esque figure. Even Ballard, the most benign of the three, views Blakean energy as a release of potentially dangerous psychopathologies. In all the novels, we see a contrarian use of misprision, rewriting Blake as Blake had rewritten Milton.
This article, originally published in 1958, was written to commemorate William Blake’s bicentenary. In it, the author observes that Blake has been claimed or dismissed by successive generations since his death in 1827: for the Romantics, he was a ‘weird crank’, while the Victorians enveloped him in ‘their own damp sentimentalism’. The author argues that Blake ‘evades appraisal because he was always working for a synthesis of creation far beyond outward forms and genres’, which meant ‘he had to invent his own methods to express himself adequately’. He notes that the recent bicentenary was marked by ‘floods of exhibitions, magazine supplements, radio features, new books from all sides devoted to him’. This clearly anticipates the Blakean explosion of the 1960s, in which the author himself would play a major role. This article can therefore be seen as marking the beginning of Sixties Blake in Britain.