Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sonic Retro-Futures: Musical Nostalgia as Revolution in Post-1960s American Literature, Film and Technoculture

  • Author(s): Young, Mark Thomas
  • Advisor(s): Vint, Sherryl
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines the ongoing influence of retro music cultures on post-1960s American artists and their representations of social, political, and economic change. Through a roughly decade-by-decade analysis of poetry, novels, film, and emerging technocultures, I make the case for a pendular dynamic of nostalgic art in the wake of the Civil Rights era—namely, a hope for revolutionary futures based on the past coupled with a backward-looking dirge for a Rubicon crossed, a moment of potential irretrievably lost. These twinned poles of optimism and pessimism share a nostalgic center in the music cultures of the past, emblematized in American art as agents of change and revolution, high water marks against which artists measure progressivism or cultural regression.

Main Content
Current View