Poster from Atelier populaire, 1968 retrieved from Gallica; Photo by Bruno Barbey of students and workers in Charlety stadium in Paris. May 27th, 1968 retrieved from ARTstor.
Les événements de mai 68 (the events of May ’68) or Mai 68 (May ’68) refer to the socio-political and cultural contestation that took place in France between May and June, 1968. Student protests at universities in Nantes, Brest and Nanterre were eventually joined by a general strike involving some 10 million workers, nearly 20 percent of the population. While the movement, or events, which lasted nearly 6 weeks failed to transform the state, it did have an indelible impact on French society, forever changing the social space and opening up a terrain for new social movements.
As May ’68 approaches its fiftieth anniversary, the Mai 68: Library Research Guide serves as a starting point for interdisciplinary research of all levels into this specific historical moment and also commemorates the ways the movement opened up a broader discourse into social emancipation, including feminism, anti-racism, ecology, and gay rights. As home to the Free Speech Movement and the first large-scale protest against the Vietnam War in 1964, UC Berkeley has a special connection with May ’68, and the depth of our library collection on the topic is a testament to that transatlantic link.