Manifesto

The Humanities in Opposition World League (HOWL) is an international collective of practitioners in the humanities: artists, poets, historians, social scientists, psychologists, actors, scholars of all disciplines, linguists, critics, journalists, and others. We believe in vibrant truth-telling, inclusiveness, racial and gender equality, right to love, environmental healing, economic justice, and freedom of the press for all writers and readers. We believe that we can improve political conditions and individual lives by sharing the information and art we have culled and created.
 

The nations of the world experienced a change of life in November 2016, but not a natural development, part of maturation as an international community. Rather, we experienced the very unnatural transition in the United States from a democracy to a country led by an unstable alt-right-wing president, threatening a path of isolationism, racism, environmental destruction, censorship, and oligarchic rule. This affects the entire globe.

What role do the humanities and its practitioners play in this? A major one. How we share information now can affect global politics, and the lives of individuals in a profound way.
 

In the humanities and the arts, we are always cool. Decorative, interesting, informative, entertaining, moving. But as Toni Morrison says, these are the times we really earn our keep. That said, we must go to work.

We seek to work now in the spirit of Frankl, Akhmatova, Anthony, Fromm, Ginsberg, Pasternak, Sartre, Levi, Brecht, Wiesel, Gramsci, DuBois, Douglass, Barthes, Genet, Baldwin, Brodsky, Chopin, Wollstonecraft, the Mills, Pavese, Pushkin, Shelley, King, Malcolm X, Angelou, Fenoglio, Stowe, Murrow, Serling, Dickinson, Pasolini, Brooks, Myers, Merini, Davis, L. Scalapino and thousands of others in the humanities, our many role models and heroes.
 

We signatories to this manifesto vow to fight fascism at every turn, with ideas, analysis, images. And we promise not to tell one another how that must be done. We agree to share information that is inspiring, entertaining, and/or educational. We will contribute to political freedom, whether we discuss politics directly or “tell it slant.” We vow to reach across the aisle; that said, we will have no tolerance for views predicated upon the diminution of other people. And we will bring the breath of democracy, inclusion, freedom, and human decency to our discourse.

We promise to use our brains, talents, and humor to subvert Trumpism and promote the human, and we so here sign.
 
Larissa Shmailo
Alice Sieve
Jonathan Penton
Annie Finch
Dean Kostos
Michael T. Young
Laura Hinton
Alexander Cigale
Chris Mansel
Michael Rothenberg
Terri Carrion
Katherine E. Young
Anne Waldman
Veronica Golos
Michael W. McHugh
Gabrielle Lennon
Anna Savage
Charles J. Butler
Patricia Spears Jones
Judith Kerman
Eleni Kariki
Keshab Sigdel
Charles Christie Mulagha
Dmitri Reyes
Christine Leche
Marc D’avegan Rubin
Beth Copeland
Aileen Reyes
Lennart Lundh
Barbara Ungar
Puma Perl
Anna Halberstadt
Kathleen Wallace King
Pete Dolack
Marc Olmsted
Allan Johnston
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