David Parsons

David Parsons, Ph.D., received his doctorate in History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is a professor and writer whose work focuses on the political, social, and cultural history of 20th century America. He teaches courses in U.S. history and media at California State University, Channel Islands, and hosts a long-running weekly podcast on history and politics called The Nostalgia Trap. His book Dangerous Grounds: Antiwar Coffeehouses and Military Dissent in the Vietnam Era explores links between the civilian peace movement and the American military.

Past Olios with David Parsons

Locked Out: The Attica Uprising and the Politics of Prison

In this Olio, we’ll take a detailed look at the historical context and specific demands of prison activists, as we explore that larger history of policing and prisons in the 1960s and 1970s. From the War on Drugs to Black Lives Matter, we’ll seek to understand how crime and punishment became central battlefields in the fight to define American freedom.

Venue: None

Teacher: David Parsons

July 28, 2020, 8 p.m.

Fear and Loathing in America: LSD and the Freak Politics of the 1960s

In this Olio, we’ll examine the impact and influence of LSD on American culture and politics in the 1960s. As the drug became popular among a wide range of radical thinkers, artists, and activists, a kind of “freak politics” attempted to merge personal transcendence and political liberation.

Venue: None

Teacher: David Parsons

June 25, 2020, 8 p.m.

How the Past Stays with Us: The Big Lebowski and the Legacy of the 1960s

In this Olio, we will explore The Big Lebowski as a meta-text on the 1960s, unpacking how the film’s relentless references to specific events, movements, people, and other historical ephemera reveals a struggle to deal with the era’s many unanswered questions.

Venue: None

Teacher: David Parsons

May 29, 2020, 8 p.m.

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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.