Revisiting the Sumer of Love, Rethinking the Counterculture;An Academic Conference on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love

Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement, with the California Historical Society, is hosting an interdisciplinary academic conference July 27 through 29
WHAT: Key local academics will gather this week to discuss the counterculture and reexamining events that led to the Summer of Love and its legacy and impact. Scholars will discuss what the counterculture means 50 years after the Summer of Love forever transformed San Francisco, California and the country.


Professors from Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, and San Francisco State will be joined by academics around the country at the conference “Rethinking the Counterculture/Rethinking the Summer of Love,” hosted by Northwestern/San Francisco and the California Historical Society.

Three prominent Northwestern University scholars will be among several dozen historians, journalism, arts and gender studies experts from around the country gathered to offer lectures and discussion. A wide range of topics includes the Beats to hippies, the Black Panthers, media, music, and more. They will also delve into the lessons contemporary society can take from the events that occurred in the 1960s.

The summer of 1967 in San Francisco went beyond sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. 100,000 young people came for the music and the culture, and left changing the face of American society forever.

The three-day interdisciplinary academic conference will celebrate and reexamine the Summer of Love, its associated events and their contexts and implications on today’s world. The conference’s major theme is community: building community; portraying community; analyzing community; healing community; and envisioning community; done so through a variety of mechanisms from activism to the arts, from esotericism to drugs.   


* Fred Turner, Stanford University

* Richard Candida Smith, University of California Berkeley

* Peter Richardson, San Francisco State University

* Stephen Eisenman, Northwestern

* Abe Peck, Northwestern

* Michael Kremer, Northwestern

* Anthea Hartig, California Historical Society

WHEN/ Thursday, July 27, 2017 (6:00 pm-7:00 pm) Lecture:


Hot Fun in the Summertime: Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Views on the Summer of Love

Event Location: California Historical Society, 678 Mission St.

Friday, July 28, 2017 (9:00 am – 5:30 pm) Lectures & Panels:

Event Location: Northwestern University San Francisco, 44 Montgomery St.


  • From Counterculture to Cyberculture: The Dream of a World Beyond
  • From Subculture to Counterculture: Paths through Postwar Art to the Summer of Love
  • The Long 60s
  • Rooting the Counterculture: Rural Communes and Back to the Land
  • The Black Power Revolution and the Summer of Love 
  • Engendering Social Change: Feminism, Sexual Freedom, and Gender-Transgressive

              Fashion in the Age of Aquarius

  • From Punishment to Protection: Human Service Innovation in the Summer of Love
  • Agency, Activism, and Clash in the Ideology of the Counterculture
  • The Sound of the Counterculture: Rock Music and Its Resistances
  •  Presenting the Counterculture: Portrayals, Perceptions, Problems 
  •  Reimagining America: Identity, Transformation, and the Politics of Community in the


Saturday, July 29, 2017 (9:00 am – 3:45 pm) Lectures & Panels:

Event Location: Northwestern University San Francisco, 44 Montgomery St.

  • William Blake and the Age of Aquarius 
  • The Intellectual Origins of the Counterculture: How Theory Shaped Practice
  • The Soundtrack of the Summer of Love: Ideas, Albums, and Issues
  • Expanded Mediums and the Summer of Love: Objects, Performance, and Film
  • From Innocence to Experience: LSD, the Counterculture and Sustainable Lives 
  • The Counterculture and the Written Word: Was the Movement a Literary Movement Too?
  • The Media and the Summer of Love: From Street to Straight
  • Visualizing the Summer of Love: The San Francisco Poster Renaissance

For complete program times and registration details visit: