TMA08: The Sixties
TMA08 is an interdisciplinary assignment relating to Block 6. When you have completed it, please send it to your tutor to arrive no later than 16 May 2008.
Please remember that this assignment is non-substitutable and carries a threshold of 30%.
You should answer this question in an essay of no more than 2,000 words.
How far were the Sixties distinctive in their own right and how significant were they in bringing about changes? Discuss with reference to any two or three of the disciplines represented in Block 6.
Whether or not you agree with either or both parts of the question, this assignment requires you to test this general view of the Sixties against the specific examples of social, cultural, religious, artistic and scientific enterprise examined in Block 6. You should choose two or three of the five disciplines – History, History of Science, Religious Studies, Music, Art History – and consider how distinctive and significant were developments in those fields during the 1960s. To answer the question, you will need to discuss the concept and practicality of historical periodisation (sic!), for which you should refer to pp.18-23 of Units 25-26. Note that you will need to do this regardless of whether History is one of the disciplines you choose for the bulk of your answer. You are recommended to use no more than 500 words of your essay, or two paragraphs, discussing this concept. For the rest of your essay you should show how appropriate the statement is in providing a contextual framework for any two of the five disciplines in Block 6. If you answer with reference to History you should draw on examples from Units 25-26 to support your argument. If you answer with reference to any of the other disciplines, History of Science, Religious Studies, Music or Art History, you should draw on examples from the relevant units.
If Music or Art History are among the disciplines you choose, you should consider what factors other than notable public events and changes might be useful in making divisions of period. For instance, how much weight should be given to specific traditions or movements, to major changes in musical or artistic style, or even to significant moments in the careers of individuals? These may coincide with the kinds of events and changes that historians consider decisive, but if they don’t, should we just ignore the evidence they seem to offer? You should argue your case by using specific examples from Block 6 and Resource Book 4. Do not write a narrative history of the 1960s, but rather use your essay to develop an argument that will lead you towards a conclusion that either supports, refutes or qualifies the assertions at the heart of the question.