'The Manifesto Revisited' - MLA 2014 Division Session

full name / name of organization: 
MLA, Division on Non-Fiction Prose

The manifesto has served many purposes in its history, and this session will bring together scholars with an interest in non-fiction to reflect on those purposes. In the realms of politics, art, literature and beyond, we invite contributions that will help clarify both the connections and the divergences between individual manifestos.

While some manifestos are published signed and precisely associated with an individual, others appear unattributed, their authors eclipsed behind the message, or are presented as the product of collective authorship. Their texts have been used to attack predecessors and contemporaries, as well as to defend visions of art and/or society. How can these oppositions be understood in a comparative frame? What is the relationship between the manifesto and the works produced under its aegis? What is the future of the manifesto in the 21st century?

Papers analyzing examples of the manifesto genre from both theoretical and historical perspectives are welcome. All time periods, national and transnational contexts are of interest, in any realm of intellectual activity. 500-word abstracts to Amardeep Singh (amsp@lehigh.edu) and Rod Cooke (rcooke@haverford.edu).