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00:00:00 - Start of Interview/ Interviewer's Introduction 00:00:21 - Coming to Madison

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Partial Transcript: "Well, I think I'll start by saying I came here a wide-eyed, middle class, Jewish girl from Chicago."

Segment Synopsis: Alison Klairmont (AK) started college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966. She described herself as a "wide-eyed, middle class, Jewish girl from Chicago." Her mother had attended the University of Chicago, and AK transferred to Chicago for one quarter and did not like the history department. She loved the history lectures of Harvey Goldberg and George Mosse and took meticulous notes in their classes.

Keywords: 1960s; Chicago; George L. Mosse; Harvey Goldberg; History; Madison, Wisconsin; University of Chicago; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:03:02 - Protests and Demonstrations

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Partial Transcript: "And I think being in the demonstrations, being, I guess commerce was Dow Chemical..."

Segment Synopsis: AK participated in the Dow Chemical Protests, but left before the police became involved. After that incident, she was more careful about participating in protests and demonstrations. She listened to George Mosse and realized that the country was not in a revolutionary situation, which was what the leaders of the protests claimed. She listened to Mosse's advice, which was, "If you do not understand your historical reality, you are doomed to be a victim of what is going on." George Mosse taught AK to step back and look at the context of a situation.

Keywords: 1960s; Dow Chemical Protests; George L. Mosse; Protests; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:05:39 - Graduate School at Berkeley

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Partial Transcript: "I went on to get my PhD at UC-Berkeley and worked with Natalie..."

Segment Synopsis: When AK was pursuing her PhD at UC-Berkeley, she had a difficult time dealing with a professor who believed that women should not be in academia. She later got a job as a research assistant with the same professor. AK worked as a TA for a course called society and the sexes.

Keywords: Graduate School; History; TA; University of California-Berkeley

00:07:13 - Involvement on Campus

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Partial Transcript: "So you arrived on campus in '66?"

Segment Synopsis: AK was briefly involved with SDS at UW-Madison, but noticed some problematic aspects of the organization. She did grassroots organizing for organizations in Chicago. She ended up writing for a newspaper on campus reviewing plays. She took classes in literature, poetry, and history. Her main focus was European intellectual history because of George Mosse. AK discussed her involvement in the Mifflin Street riots which resulted in her getting tear gassed by the police.

Keywords: History; Political Organizations; SDS; Student Organizations; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:12:19 - Mifflin Street

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Partial Transcript: "I'm interested in how your experience with Mifflin Street life intersected with the classroom."

Segment Synopsis: AK was not as involved in the political culture at UW-Madison as many of her friends because she had to focus on her studies. She felt that many of the people living on Mifflin Street were too swept up in their own personal and political problems and that drugs were a huge part of the street's culture. She worked at a food co-op. She attended demonstrations, but had no desire to be one of the leaders.

Keywords: 1960s; Drugs; History; Madison, Wisconsin; Mifflin Street; Protests; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:15:46 - Courses with George Mosse

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Partial Transcript: "You studied very broadly in the history department while your were here. Which Mosse courses did you take?"

Segment Synopsis: AK cannot remember which specific courses she took with George Mosse. She remembered standing in line to register for classes, but was never really worried that she would not be able to get into the classes she wanted. She was able to graduate early because she took summer classes. She often hung out with George Mosse's TAs at Der Rathskeller.

Keywords: Der Rathskeller; George L. Mosse; History; Memorial Union; Registering for Classes; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:18:29 - Teaching and Writing

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Partial Transcript: "I've done some teaching. You know, I've raised my children and have gotten more active now."

Segment Synopsis: AK has taught at San Francisco State, Berkeley, and North Carolina State. She tried to emulate Mosse's style of teaching. She described teaching a course on the reformation in the 1990s when some scandals about the Catholic Church were coming out. AK discussed a paper she wrote that she will soon present and her next book on an innovative Renaissance midwife.

Keywords: George L. Mosse; Medicine; Midwives; Reformation; Renaissance; Sexual Politics; Teaching

00:28:48 - Alison's Studies

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Partial Transcript: "No, history of science. I was interested in history of science."

Segment Synopsis: AK's first graduate paper was on midwifery in early modern Paris. She discussed the various historians and art historians that were on her dissertation committee. Berkley was more politically tame than Madison when AK attended graduate school. Berkeley was also more spread out than Madison and AK had a more intense schedule during her graduate studies and so she was not involved or always aware of what was going on in the campus.

Keywords: Dissertation Committee; Early Modern Paris; Midwifery; University of California-Berkeley; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:31:00 - Mosse and Goldberg

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Partial Transcript: "Do you want to go back to the topic of Mosse and Goldberg and their relationship to female students?"

Segment Synopsis: AK felt that both Mosse and Goldberg kept their distance from women and female students. She never got close with Mosse or Goldberg, unlike some of their male students. AK was involved in the women's movement at Berkley. She discussed some of the complicated sexual politics that she experienced with her involvement in the women's movement. The interviewer and AK discussed Mosse's TA, Joan Scott.

Keywords: George L. Mosse; Harvey Goldberg; Sexual Politics; University of California-Berkeley; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Women's Movement

00:37:42 - Returning to Madison

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Partial Transcript: "Is this your first time back?"

Segment Synopsis: AK said that her current visit to Madison was her third time back at the university since graduating. She came back in the 1980s to visit friends and on another occasion for her classes' twentieth reunion. When she arrived a few days prior to the interview, she walked around campus and experienced déjà vu from buildings and landmarks like Bascom Hall that had not changed. She felt at home in Madison.

Keywords: Bascom Hall; Historians; Madison, Wisconsin; Reunion; University of Wisconsin-Madison

00:39:32 - Life in the Sixties

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Partial Transcript: "Well I guess I'll just ask if you have any other memories of Madison from the '60s that you could share..."

Segment Synopsis: AK talked about an experience she had as an undergrad in which she went off campus and knocked on doors during a presidential election and was shocked by the different viewpoints of people from varying socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. She categorized the 1960s as a breaking away from the traditional values of the 1950s. The first time AK experienced this was in the dorms at UW-Madison. She lived in Carol Hall in 1966 with two other roommates and did not like the experience. She ended up moving into a different dorm with a single room. She needed special permission her sophomore year to live off campus. When she lived in the dorms, there was a curfew and other rules. It was shocking for AK to be on her own and witness all the sexual experimentation of the sixties. She was born in 1948 and called herself a member of the "transitional generation" that was formed in the 1950s. She said work and her studies kept her away and balanced from the drugs and sexual experimentation taking place around her. AK worked in the archives in the Wisconsin Historical Society. The roots of her historical identity were formed in Madison. AK did not enjoy the loud concerts of the sixties. Her experience in the commerce building made her dislike crowds.

Keywords: 1950s; 1960s; Archives; Dow Chemical Protests; Drugs; Presidential Election; Sexual Experimentation; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Wisconsin Historical Society

00:47:17 - End of Interview