HIST 156
The Manifesto in U.S. Politics Fall 2019
Division II Writing Skills

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Is there a style or tradition of writing political manifestos in the United States? Given the nation’s origins in revolution, the answer would seem on the surface to be a definitive “yes.” But some observers 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 investigate 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’ll look at these questions through close readings and analyses of manifestos across different historical junctures in the U.S., frequent short essay assignments, and an original research project of students’ own choosing.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 10
Class#: 1179
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: three graded essays (3-5 pages each), handed in as drafts, given comments, with time for revision; 3-5 ungraded assignments; one graded, final research paper (6-8 pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students and then sophomores
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
WS Notes: Students will alternate doing short graded and ungraded assignments in the first eight weeks of the class: the three graded assignments (3-5 pages in length) each will involve first a draft, and then a revision based on comments; the 3-5 ungraded assignments are either informal responses to the reading or discussion questions. Students also will write their own manifestos. The last month will focus on gaining the library skills to do a small research project (6-8 pages).
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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