Our 1980s

From the rise of the Religious Right to the fall of the Berlin Wall, from the Iran-Contra Affair and Challenger Space Shuttle accident to the launch of MTV, from the plague of AIDS and the crack epidemic to the fierce debates around the sex-porn wars and the “welfare queen,” events, individuals, and policies of the 1980s radically redefined understandings of sexuality and gender in the United States. The students of American Conflicts & Cultures: The 1980s at Trinity College learn to interpret and contextualize cultural objects by connecting the intimate and global topographies of these events and identifying the ways that they still affect our daily lives. As a project of public humanities, students worked together to build a timeline of the key events of the 1980s relating to their paper topic, and edited entries in Wikipedia related to their work to add further citations, data, and information regarding their research topics–read the class of 2016’s edits to Wikipedia here or read the 2015 class’s work here or see the timeline below. The research that students do does not end on the page but serves to extend knowledge to the world while showing students their own agency and role in the production of knowledge. Enjoy!