By Dick Flacks
The questions posed for this essay dialogue are ones I’ve wrestled with over the 40 years I taught courses in social movements. I initiated an upper division social movements course in 1971, in the midst of intense campus and community antiwar protest. Students who took such a course then were overwhelmingly identifying with the student movement and many if not all had taken part in large-scale militancy (including street rebellions accompanied by bank burning and mass police roundups). As I recall, my efforts then were aimed at getting students to document and reflect on the ongoing protest that swirled around them.
Once the protest tide receded, I began to rework the course. My first concern at that time was to see how some of the emotional and human experience of mass movement might be made available. To achieve this, I decided to make films an integral part of the curriculum. Continue reading