‘Voices of Dissent’: Social Movements and Political Protest in Post-war America

Martin Luther King

On the evening of April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a historic speech before a crowd of 3,000 people at Manhattan’s Riverside Church. In his speech, entitled ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,’ King condemned the Vietnam War and American Cold War policy and characterized the U.S. government as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world”. Describing Vietnam a  “victim [of] deadly Western arrogance”, King detailed the war’s devastating effects on both America’s and Vietnam’s poor, and declared that it was a moral imperative for opponents of the war to use “every creative method of protest possible” to halt the war through non-violent means.

In 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Riverside Church speech, the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford is holding a broad inter-disciplinary conference which considers the role that social movements and political protest have played in shaping post-war U.S. history. The conference welcomes papers from scholars at any stage of their career. Proposals are encouraged on topics relating to the politics and culture of protest and dissent in the United States since the 1960s. However, priority may be given to submissions that are broadly concerned with Dr Martin Luther King Jr., the Cold War, or the anti-Vietnam War movement.

The programme can be accessed here.

Registration is now open!

To register, please e-mail your name, institutional affiliation, and any dietary or other special requirements to the conference organiser at daniel.rowe@history.ox.ac.uk. There is a nominal registration fee of £15 per delegate, which includes lunch, refreshments throughout the event and a conference dinner on Friday evening. This fee is payable via PayPal (to the account 'daniel.rowe@history.ox.ac.uk') or by cheque. Please send cheques, payable to the 'Rothermere American Institute', to the following address:

Daniel Rowe
c/o Rothermere American Institute
1a South Parks Road

The deadline to register for this conference is Friday 19 May.