News & Events

University to host week-long 1968 Retrospective

The Apollo 8 mission. The Tet Offensive. The French Student Movement. The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. All of these were major events that happened in 1968 and all of them will be discussed during the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s 1968 Retrospective, to be held November 10-15. The public is invited to attend all activities connected with the Retrospective. 

The week-long event commemorates the 40th anniversary of a transformational year in politics, education, science and culture and will include roundtable discussions, presentations, movie screenings, slideshows, musical performances, an art exhibit, and a conversation with journalist and Vietnam War correspondent Richard Dudman. The Retrospective will culminate in a day-long conference covering topics from student demonstrations to Second Wave Feminism to the Cinema of 1968. Event organizers believe this is the only event of its kind happening in Maine, if not New England.

“There were so many society-altering changes happening all over the world in 1968,” Dr. Michael Amey, event co-organizer said. “We put this together both to raise awareness of these events and draw attention to the lessons that 1968 taught us. We don’t think people in Maine are going to have a chance to experience this anywhere else, so we welcome them and everyone else – students, faculty, campus and community members – to join us as we remember our past and look toward our future.”

The Retrospective begins on Monday, Nov. 10 with a look at the music and art of 1968. At 5 p.m., an art reception will be held for the student exhibition “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll: An Homage to Radical Counter-culture in 1968” in the Pullen Art Gallery. At 6:30 p.m. in the Campus Center, President Don Zillman will lead the official kick-off for the 1968 Retrospective. Immediately following, Professor Clifton Boudman will present a slideshow on the art of 1968 and local musicians will perform some of the music from 1968.

Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, will focus on our nation’s veterans with a special event at 6:30 p.m. in the Campus Center. Following a tribute to all veterans, guest speaker Professor Carol Hawkins will present a paper on how the Vietnam conflict has been presented in popular culture. Hawkins is a visiting Assistant Professor of English at Colby College and Writing Center director. President Zillman and Chancellor Richard Pattenaude, both veterans, will then lead a roundtable discussion with several local war veterans about the nature of the veteran experience – from the decision to enter military service and the nature of that service to the impact of a veteran’s service on loved ones and the lessons that stay with a veteran for the remainder of life.

Science and Exploration serves as the main topic for Wednesday, Nov. 12. At 6 p.m. in Pullen 210, faculty members will give presentations on the Apollo 8 Mission, deep ocean studies and advances in chemistry in 1968. On Thursday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. in Pullen 210, a panel of scholars and first-hand witnesses will discuss how life-changing events in 1968 played out in different parts of the world. The discussion will be followed by a screening of the movie Bobby, which centers on the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

The 1968 Retrospective presents its keynote speaker and distinguished lecturer, journalist Richard Dudman, on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Campus Center. Dudman will lead a discussion titled 1968: Through the Eyes of One Journalist. Dudman served for more than three decades as the chief Washington correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, covering American politics and the Vietnam War. In 1970, he was captured by Vietcong guerrillas in Cambodia. He later wrote about his experiences in the book, Forty Days with the Enemy. Dudman’s visit to Presque Isle also serves as a University Distinguished Lecturer event.

The Retrospective caps off with a day-long conference, “1968 and 2008: Years of Transition,” on Saturday, Nov. 15, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Folsom Hall. The conference will include presentations by faculty, alumni and community members on the Green Revolution, Second Wave Feminism, Women and Race, the Mexico City Olympics, the Tunnels of Cu Chi, and the Cinema of 1968.

The public is invited to attend all of these free events. For more information, please call 207-768-9452 or visit www.umpi.edu/1968.