Clarksville, TN – The Vietnam War—America’s first “rock and roll war,” as it came to be known—had a distinct soundtrack that continues to help define it.
That’s why Ken Burns’ 2017 documentary, “The Vietnam War,” featured music by Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, and why The Rolling Stones’ hit, “Paint It Black,” shows up in Stanley Kubrick’s film “Full Metal Jacket.” Even Forest Gump marched through rain and muck to the sounds of Buffalo Springfield.
Earlier this year, Steve Sullivan, an Austin Peay State University history major and music lover, decided to examine the war through the music of the late sixties and early seventies.
Last month, his research, “Important Notes: How Music Shaped the Vietnam War,” won first place in the undergraduate paper category at the Regional Phi Alpha Theta Meeting at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Phi Alpha Theta is a national history honor society, and the APSU chapter, Theta Delta, has earned national “Chapter of the Year,” recognition for nine years in a row.
Several club members, accompanied by APSU faculty, traveled more than four hours in late March to attend the event, and as always, the University’s history honor society put on a good showing.
“We had a fantastic conference,” Dr. Minoa Uffelman, professor of history, said. “We won three of the six best paper prizes.”
In addition to Sullivan, APSU graduate student Zacharie Kinslow earned second place in the graduate student category for his paper, “Cradle of Revolution: The North Carolina Back Country and the Birth of Revolutionary Sentiments.” Graduate student Beth Bisciglia’s paper, “Photography as Impetus of Change: How Photojournalism during the American Civil War Revolutionized Medicine, Faith and Sexual Norms,” won third place in the same category.
Three APSU students also presented their research at the conference. Cierra Pegram, an undergraduate, presented “The Societal Shift in Gender Roles: Women of Classical and Hellenistic Greece.” Graduate student Keith Chezem presented “The Pentagon Papers and the Fall of Richard Nixon,” and graduate student Jennifer Holland presented “Turning High School on Its Head: Flipping Secondary Social Studies Classrooms.”
Uffelman, Dr. Kelly Houston Jones, assistant professor of history, and APSU student Nicholas Herrud also attended the event.