Our Professor of Cultural Sociology, Richard Howells, gave a research paper on: “Revolt into Style” at the conference “Mai ’68 at 50: Appropriations, Translations, Legacies”, organised in collaboration with the University of Paris, the Institute Francais, the National Archives, and the French Embassy.
The conference marked the 50th anniversary of the student and labour uprisings centred on Paris in May, 1968. Howells took the title and thesis of George Melly’s influential work of 1970 to examine to what extent initial political and subcultural revolt is frequently transmuted into fashion and style statements.
Case studies included the famous Che Guevara poster, together with musical examples from the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Thunderclap Newman, The Sex Pistols, Tracy Chapman, and even Matt Monro.
The conference, staged here at King’s, is part of a three-year project in conjunction with the University of Paris under the themes of liberty, fraternity and equality. Events will alternate between London and Paris.