CORVALLIS - Alice Echols, a faculty member at UCLA whose studies of 1960s American culture have garnered widespread attention, will lecture on Thursday, April 25, at Oregon State University.

Her talk, "Facing the Music: Rock Culture and the Question of Sixties Exceptionalism," will begin at 4 p.m. in the Women's Center at OSU. It is free and open to the public.

Echols' lecture is the first in the American Culture and Politics Speaker Series at OSU, sponsored by the university's history department and the Horning Endowment.

In her talk, Echols will discuss ideas of "racial authenticity" and argue that it was gendered and classed in such a way that it enshrined certain performers in the 1960s - and marginalized others.

Echols has written essays on far-ranging topics, including hippies, the women's movement, gay and lesbian liberation, disco, the racial politics of music, and on artists ranging from Joni Mitchell to Sly and the Family Stone.

"Alice Echols is one of the most sophisticated historians of the American '60s," said Mina Carson, an associate professor of history at OSU. "She has explored this territory for more than 25 years, pursuing elusive and sometimes conflicting sources to help us understand this turbulent decade's politics and culture."

Echols is the author of a three books, including "Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin," which took her five years to research and write. Her articles have been published by Village Voice, LA Weekly, and the Nation.

She has a Ph.D from the University of Michigan, and has taught at UCLA, USC and Occidental College.

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Mina Carson, 541-737-1259