Winter Senior College session examines the "wasteland" of the 1970s

Oct 29, 2020 | 3:59 PM

“The Sixties” or “the Eighties” conjure up clear images of the historical significance of those two decades. The 1970s, however, typically gets no respect.

It has been called the “un-decade” or “a wasteland in between.” An early history of the 1970s was titled “It Seemed Like Nothing Happened,” and a reviewer in 2000 suggested that it “remains shrouded in America’s cultural memory, as if by a kind of smog.”

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The Senior College Winter 2021 course will examine the question of whether the 1970s is best seen as a “wasteland” or a highly consequential period that shaped the world we live in today.

Dr. Ken Jones, Professor of History at the College of St Benedict and St John’s University, will lead the course examining how and why we lost our sense of American Exceptionalism – the idea that the nation and its leaders were somehow special and trustworthy. One part of this will be the changing nature of the US economy, and the implications for the working class. We will also explore how the battle for equal rights moved to busing and then lost the nation’s attention as the lines of residential segregation hardened. At the same time, the Women’s movement made great strides, the LGBT+ community commanded attention, the Environmental movement began, and the Religious Right became a powerful force in American life. By the end, participants will be able to make their own choice on what we should call the 1970s.

The Winter Season course begins Tuesday, January 12, 2021 and meets Tuesdays and Thursdays through Thursday, January 28. All sessions are held from 3:15 pm to 5:15 pm, live via Zoom.

A single per-person registration fee of $50 covers all six lectures in the session. Registration is required. For more information or to register, please call 320-762-4510 or 888-234-1313, or click the button below. Winter Season requires a minimum of 30 people registered by Friday, December 31, 2020.

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Lectures will be held via Zoom. With a single click, students can join the group from ANY device with internet access that has audio – computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. A trial run will be offered before the season begins to assure students are set up and acquainted with Zoom and participant controls. 

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