Today, We Write a Manifesto

I came across this and wanted to share — partly because I think it’s awesome, partly because it has a tricky self-referential nature which appeals to my mathematical sensibilities, but mostly because I was inspired — I think it would make a great short writing assignment (write your own manifesto!).

For the group, I wanted to take this space to encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for assignment ideas, and to pass along those great ideas when you see them. I want your inspiration! Also, if you do write a manifesto I’d love to see it.

How to write a manifesto

ps. I’m not sure of the original source of this — if anyone knows it, please share.

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4 Responses to Today, We Write a Manifesto

  1. Love the idea of using this for a writing assignment — maybe less to have students write an actual manifesto than to similarly break down the tired tropes of another genre.

    I’ve seen this manifesto example before but don’t know the original source. I can recommend a few similar pieces, though:

    This is the title of a typical incendiary blog post

    Charlie Brooker – How To Report The News




  2. Jonas Reitz says:

    Hi Matt,

    Great links — really funny! You are so right — I love the idea of students writing a self-descriptive genre pieces (a thesis statement, a text message, the first paragraph of a five paragraph essay, a top ten list, …). As your “Charlie Brooker” link illustrates, this could also be a great multimedia assignment!


    • Jonas, since you thanked me in print, the least I can do is try to appeal to your mathematical sensibilities.

      First (1), we might want to think of a replacement set for {manifesto}. Perhaps we could use either {personifesto} or {humanifesto}. Either term provides a necessary and sufficient condition for gender-neutral language, which in turn fosters inclusiveness.


      Whom do we include + how do we do it? Drum roll, please.

      Now we have a really long sentence that builds up excitement for our overarching concept that is summed up in our Title V manifesto, (personifesto? humanifesto?) which states that we will, “Create a state-of-the-art digital platform to support teaching and learning while also increasing student and faculty engagement in the intellectual and social fabric of the college community.”

      To sum it up, we foster inclusiveness by increasing student and faculty engagement in the intellectual and social fabric of the college community. Hold on a minute. Something is missing from that equation. I’m certainly engaged. In addition, I’m sure anybody reading this is engaged. But where are the students who we need to include in City Tech’s intellectual and social fabric? Why don’t we start right now increasing student engagement? Let’s add students to our mix. I think we could use their help.

      just a few words to sum up my end of the conversation. (Thanks for the prompt, Jonathan.)

  3. Jonas Reitz says:

    a) I love it!

    b) You are so right about the proverbial elephant conspicuously absent from the room. I’ve been really enjoying our work this semester, and I notice in myself an indistinct feeling of resistance (apprehension?) to “taking it to the classroom.” All these ideas work so well in my mind, and surely introducing students into the equation will cause nothing but problems. What the heck am I thinking? I’m sure that the implementation phase next fall will be quite a different experience from our work this spring, and it will be important for us not to lose track of what we have discussed and discovered as we start to see how these ideas translate into reality.

    c) Question: Should we involve students sooner? Do they have a role in our work this semester? I agree, we could use their help — but I am not sure how to involve them effectively. I think this is a great question.

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