Call For Papers: Communication and Power in Early America

The Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS) at Iona University invites submissions for a hybrid online and in-person symposium on the topic of “Communication and Power in Early America.” This symposium aims to explore how communication shaped, reflected, and challenged power relations in North America from 1750-1850. The organizers have ambitions of extending this conversation through a scholarly anthology and/or a journal special edition. Participants are encouraged to consider this symposium as a potential first step toward publication and will be expected to present their work as well as read and comment on the work of other participants.

The symposium will take place October 6-7, 2023, with both in-person and online opportunities for presentation. The in-person component will take place at the ITPS at Iona University in New Rochelle, New York.

We welcome submissions from scholars of all disciplines, including but not limited to history, literary studies, communication, media studies, religious studies, ethnic studies, and area studies. Possible topics for submission might include (but are not limited to):

· Communication in shaping imperial power structures

· Communication as a tool of insurgency or conservatism

· New media technologies in early America

· Political rhetoric in the Age of Revolutions

· The role of print culture in shaping public opinion and establishing power structures

· Indigenous practices of knowledge-keeping

· Communication and representative government

· Transformations in communication and performance

· Communication networks within and beyond imperial networks

· Manuscript communication and gossip networks

· Censorship and other forms of repression

· Communicating truth and deception

· Publicity and privacy

· Rumor as a form of communication

To submit a proposal, please send a single document including a brief biographical statement and abstract of no more than 300 words to by June 1, 2023. Please feel free to reach out to the symposium organizing committee — Mark Boonshoft, Katlyn Carter, Carolyn Eastman, Nora Slonimsky, and Ben Wright– with any questions.

Accepted participants will be expected to submit papers of approximately 5,000 words by August 31, 2023. Papers will be pre-circulated and participants will be expected to come prepared to offer feedback to one another. Additional comment will be supplied by established scholars with experience in guiding research toward publication.