Study of a Genre: The Manifesto
If ubiquity confers significance, the manifesto is a major literary form, and yet it has been relatively marginalized in genre studies, where attention to the manifesto has been largely devoted to anthologies. In this seminar we will focus on the manifesto as a genre by exploring its histories, rhetorics, definitions and reception from a Black Studies framework.
Associated with politics, art, literature, pedagogy, film, and new technologies, the manifesto involves the taking of an engaged position that is tied to the moment of its enunciation. The manifesto's individual or collective authors seek to provoke radical change through critique and the modeling of new ways of being though language and images. Included on the syllabus will be anticolonial, anti-racist, feminist, LGBTQ manifestos of the 18th through 21st centuries from throughout the Black world .
In addition to leading class discussion, students will be responsible for a seminar paper or a final project to be developed in consultation with the instructor.