M/W/F 10:00-11:00 225 Dwinelle Instructor: Gabriel Page
“A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism.” So begins the most famous and consequential manifesto of history. Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto inaugurated a new genre of writing that has influenced countless other manifestos—as well as literary texts, artworks, and political movements of course—since its publication in 1848. What is a manifesto?
What are its formal and generic features? What rhetorical strategies do manifestos typically employ? What relationship with history do they tend to assert? What, if anything, do they share with more purely “aesthetic” or “literary” modes of writing? In this course we’re going to read several of the major manifestos of the past two centuries broken up into the following five categories: Politics, Aesthetics, Feminism, Race/Colonialism, and Environmentalism. We will also study related forms such as the declaration, the vindication, the ars poetica, the jeremiad, the protest novel, and the encyclical. This is a writing intensive course. Students will write and revise a number of analytical essays over the course of the semester along with various shorter writing assignments, including their own manifestos.