Death and (Rebirth?) of the Hippie

Brad Southard
Day/Time Taught: 
TR 2:00 – 3:15 pm
Course Number: 

This course will examine the cultural period of the 60’s, the “Hippie” culture, its rise and demise. The Hippie archetype will be examined through the lens of music, politics, fashion, and cultural way of life of the hippie. We will also look at how a ‘counterculture’ seemingly transformed into a mainstream phenomenon within popular culture. Socio-historical context will be extremely important in this examination of this archetype and the culture pervading it. The Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, the civil rights struggle, the corrupt political climate, societal and political repression, as well as other aspects, will be critical to this exploration. In conclusion, the question will be posed as to how this cultural phenomenon influenced contemporary society and whether or not the hippie culture is present in some forms in the youth of contemporary American society, the “neo-hippie” movement.

Instructor Bio: 

My academic background in English Literature and sociology led me to always have an inter-disciplinary philosophy and approach to my teaching. I received my Master of Arts in English (1990) and sociology (1997) both from Appalachian State University. Needless to say, I love this school and I love teaching here. My past teaching experience has been in both the university and the community college settings. The variety of courses I have taught over the years range from Romantic British Literature to Southern Culture to Race and Ethnicity. I really love being able to cross disciplinary boundaries in my classes I teach.

I began my teaching career in 1990 teaching English composition and survey Literature courses. I returned to graduate school in 1995 to acquire my MA in sociology and then began teaching a variety of sociology courses at Lees-McRae, a small private college here in the mountains. Being I had a background in both the humanities and social sciences, I could really expand with the diversity of the courses I could teach. I really loved this opportunity being I had always been an advocate of a true liberal arts education and the inter-disciplinary philosophy of teaching and learning. The two current courses I teach in FYS allow me to bring in elements from my academic background, while also incorporating my own personal research interests. The two current courses I teach in the FYS program at ASU are “Death and Re-Birth of the Hippie: The Rise and Fall of a Cultural Archetype” and a class entitled “Nature and Spirit”. My background in sociology and Literature as well as the humanities courses I have taught over the years enable me to bring in these elements to my two FYS classes. Also my personal research and interests really allow me to keep these classes fresh and ever-changing.

The pedagogical methods I utilize in the class include extended multi-component research project assignments with an emphasis on differing research methods. I also utilize small group and class discussions on the material. I include reflective journals on the readings that are discussed in class as well. I encourage lively discussion and collaborative learning. Any opportunities to take the class outside the parameters of the physical classroom are encouraged and taken advantage of when possible. In both of these courses I integrate elements of music, art, history, politics, literature…you name it! That is why I can safely say that your experience in my classes will be a truly inter-disciplinary adventure! My interests outside the classroom include researching popular culture of the 1950’s and 1960’s, collecting and listening to various genres of music on vinyl (remember vinyl?) – my only listening format! I also like to attend live music events whenever possible.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Rick Klima

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