Why Did Hippies Act That Way? The Origins of Hippie Subcultural Formulae

Andrew Giarelli, Ph.D.

Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic
Monday | March 26 | 15.50-17.25 | Room B2.13

| Abstract |
In 1964-65, shuttling between San Francisco rooming houses and a Virginia City, Nevada saloon, a handful of would-be hipsters too late for the beatnik scene created their own subculture, formulating most of the public and private rituals of those who would soon be called “hippies”. They coalesced into several evanescent but influential groups, among them the Pine Street rooming house people, the Red Dog Saloon gang, and the Family Dog commune. While other groups like Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters got more press coverage, these proto-hippies were key formulators of hippie dance, poster, dress, and narrative traditions. This paper uses oral history narratives collected by Giarelli during 1991 and 1998 fieldwork in San Francisco and Nevada from several major participants in that subculture to track the early transmission of those traditions. I gave an earlier version of this lecture in 2012 at the American Center in Prague, published that same year in Ethnologia Slovaca Et Slavica. This version is updated to connect to this year's 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

| Bio |
Andrew L. Giarelli, Ph.D., is a literature and folklore scholar as well as a journalist and journalism educator. He is permanent senior lecturer in journalism and literature at Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic; he also teaches sometimes at Charles University’s Department of North American Studies and the University of Vienna’s Comparative Literature Institute. Previously he taught at New York University, Utah State University, and Portland State University in the United States. He has twice been a senior Fulbright Scholar (Malta 1993, Slovakia 2011).
Giarelli was faculty founder of Portland State University’s graduate nonfiction writing program and founder of the regional magazine Edging West in the latter 1990s. He served as contributing editor for World Press Review from 1980-2000, writing its “Europe Report” column throughout the 1990s. He has written on press issues, European culture and politics, and the American West for print and online media. In the early 1980s he lived on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana, where he collected narratives for his Ph.D. dissertation, The Temporal Structure of Cheyenne Narrative. His scholarly articles have appeared in Studies in Foreign Language Education, Ethnologia Slovaca et Slavica, The Journal of American Folklore, and Marvels & Tales. He has a B.A. from Yale University (1975) and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1984). He divides his life between Prague, Czech Republic and Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Katedra anglistiky a amerikanistiky (Filozofická fakulta)
Tomáš Hanzálek
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