English 24

Freshman Seminar: FSM

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2014 Paley, Morton D.
Fridays 10-12 (Sept. 19 to Nov. 7 only; no meeting Oct. 24) 305 Wheeler

Book List

Cohen, Robert: Mario Savio


Every fall semester, The College of Letters and Science “On the Same Page” program introduces a subject for discussion that, it is hoped, will involve many of us. The subject for 2014 is the Free Speech Movement, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary.

There will be seven 2-hr meetings, starting on Sept 19. There will be no meeting on October 24. The last meeting will be on November 7.

Text: Mario Savio, by Robert Cohen. (You have, or should have, received this book as a gift from L & S.)

In this course we’ll study the aims, history, rhetoric, and degree of success of FSM, along with the ways in which it was presented by the media and perceived by the public. For this purpose we have at our disposal the Free Speech Archive at the Bancroft Library and recordings and videos in our Media Resources Center. Using these and other collections, we will try to reconstruct the main events that took place from September 29, 1964 to January 4, 1965.

For our first meeting, please read two speeches by Mario Savio in the Cohen book: Bodies Upon the Gears” (pp. 326-328) and “An End to History” (pp. 329-332), and bring the text to class (or photocopies if you don’t want to carry the book). In addition, please look at the Free Speech timeline at http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/FSM/chron.html

Seminar requirements are: regular attendance and participation, a limited archival project resulting in a 15-minute seminar presentation,
and a written 500-word summary of your presentation, and at the end of the course a one thousand word essay on a related subject of your choice.

Note: Usually when I teach a course, students have the option of seeing my credentials as a scholar in the Oski catalog. This time it’s different. (Something that could have been said about FSM itself). I have not published anything on this subject. My credentials here are experiential. After the mass arrests at Sproul Hall, Mario Savio asked to speak on behalf of FSM. I and two other faculty members did so, sustained by the presence and singing of Joan Baez, before an enormous audience. You can see me in the attached image (I am the man wearing dark glasses behind he REE of “Free”). I went on supporting the movement publicly, and I also was a participant in or a witness to a number of FSM events.

Note:  This class will meet Sept.19 to Nov. 7 only; there will be no meeting on October 24.

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.


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