HIST 156
Manifestos in American Politics Fall 2018
Division II Writing Skills
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Is there an American style or tradition of writing political manifestos? Given the United States’s origins in revolution, the answer would seem on the surface to be a definitive “yes.” But some are skeptical; one writer has gone so far as to say the term “manifesto” connotes “a radicalism that American writers generally lack.” This course will explore that claim. How would we choose to define the very term, “manifesto?” Why have so many American writings been embraced as having the characteristics of a manifesto? We will explore these questions in two ways: first, through close readings and analyses of manifestos at three historical junctures in U.S. history (the Revolutionary era; the 1830s-1850s; and the decades following World War II); and second, through students’ original research projects into manifestos of their own choosing.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 10-15
Class#: 1142
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: the total number of pages of writing required will be about 35
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: First-Years and Sophomores
Enrollment Preferences: First-Year Students, and then Sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: WI: The first eight weeks of the class will be structured around many short writing assignments with a focus on the revision process. The last four weeks of the class (and including reading period) will focus on a short research paper that teaches students basic research skills of using the library.
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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