Revolutionary Texts in a Digital Age: Thomas Paine’s Publishing Networks, Past and Present


From October 11-13, 2018, the ITPS hosted the third biannual international conference of Thomas Paine Studies. The conference provided an interdisciplinary program which explored the links – and ruptures – between late eighteenth century and twenty first century media, particularly digital publishing and archive development, social media, resource accessibility, author attribution software, and information technology.

Thursday, October 11th

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Workshop: Association of Documentary Editing (ADE) and National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Affiliated Session: Thomas Paine Collected Works Project.

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Presenters: Jennifer Steenshorne, Director of the Washington Papers Project, University of Virginia, and Nikolaus Wasmoen, The Marianne Moore Digital Archive at the University of Buffalo.
  • Participants: Greg Claeys, University of London, Carine Lounissi, Rouen-Normandie and University Paris-Diderot, Marc Belissa, University of Paris Nanterre – CHISCO, Yannick Bosc,  Groupe de Reserche de Historie, University of Normandy, Rouen, Samuel Edwards, Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage, Scott Cleary, Iona College, Gary Berton, ITPS.

3 – 3:15 p.m.

Introductory Remarks: Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, Iona College President

Spellman Hall, Burke Lounge

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Session One A (roundtable): “Native Power and the Origins of the American Revolution” (Gardiner sponsored session)

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Alexandra Montgomery, University of Pennsylvania
  • Hayley Negrin, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Chair/comment: Liz Ellis, NYU

Session One B (roundtable): “Conceptualizing Papers and Projects” (Gardiner sponsored session)

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Nikolaus Wasmoen, Marianne Moore Digital Archive at University of Buffalo
  • Christopher F. Minty, The Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Robb Haberman, The Selected Papers of John Jay, Columbia University
  • Chair/comment: Scott Cleary, Iona College


5:30 – 7:15 p.m.

Opening Keynote: Spellman Hall, Burke Lounge

“You Want a Revolution, I want a Revelation: Early American History, Digital Humanities, and Archives”

  • Jean Bauer, Research Director, The Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton University (Reception to Follow in Burke Lounge)

Friday, October 12th

Registration: Spellman Hall Lobby, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

8:30 – 10 a.m.

Session Two A (panel): “Communication in Complex Circumstances”

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Kathryn Lasdow, Suffolk University: “‘Yellow fever always begins . . . near the water:’ Thomas Paine’s Yellow Fever Pamphlets in Early-National New York”
  • Katlyn Carter, University of Michigan: “Changing Communication Technologies and Evolving Political Practices”
  • Mariam Touba, New-York Historical Society: “‘These Are the Times,’ or, in Other Words: Thomas Paine’s 1776 Wartime Journalism”
  • Lauren Duval, American University, “Open Letters, Occupied Homes: The Challenges of Communication under British Military Rule.”
  • Chair/comment: Steve Carl Smith, Providence College

Session Two B (presentation): “Innovation at Iona: Authorship and Entrepreneurship in Early American Studies”

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Lendynette Pacheco-Jorge, Assistant Director, Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Iona University
  • The Authorship Attribution Project, presented by Lubomir Ivanov and Smiljana Petrovic, Iona University
  • Chair/comment: Tricia Mulligan, Iona University

Coffee and tea break, Spellman Hall Lobby

10:30 a.m. – noon

Session Three A (roundtable): “New York in the New Nation” (Gardiner sponsored session)

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Mark Boonshoft, Norwich University
  • Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute/Ben Franklin’s World
  • Michael Blaakman, Princeton University
  • Nicole Maskiell, University of South Carolina
  • Chair/comment: Sarah Gronningsater, University of Pennsylvania

Session Three B (digital presentation): “Digital Pedagogy and the Radical Networks of Common Sense”


Laptops are encouraged for this session.

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Kelly Schmidt, Loyola University of Chicago
  • Kate Johnson, Loyola University of Chicago
  • Chair/comment: Ben Wright, UT Dallas

2 – 3:30 p.m.

Session Three A (roundtable): “Thomas Paine and the Digital Humanities” (Gardiner sponsored session)

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Ben Wright, UT Dallas
  • Christy Potroff, Merrimack College
  • Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University
  • Michael Hattem, New-York Historical Society/New School
  • Chair/comment: Micki Kaufman, Graduate Center, CUNY.

Session Three B (panel): “Language and Authority in Translation”

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Carine Lounissi, University of Rouen-Normandie and University Paris-Diderot: “Paine in French: Translations and Transfers”
  • Yannick Bosc, University of Normandy, Rouen: “Agrarian Justice: Genesis of the Text, Editions, Translations, and French reception”
  • Marc Belissa, University of Paris Nanterre—CHISCO: “A Challenge to ‘Political Heresies’: the Reception of the First Part of Rights of Man in the United States (1791)”
  • Gary Berton, ITPS: “Status Report on the Thomas Paine Canon – New Tools and Efforts to Complete an Official Collected Works
  • Chair: Michael Hughes, Iona University
  • Comment: Greg Claeys, University of London

4 – 5:15 p.m.

Introduction to Mr. Lapidus from Dr. Darrell Wheeler, Provost, Iona University.

Exhibit Keynote Remarks from Sid Lapidus, Philanthropist and Collector

(Light Refreshments Will Be Served)

Exhibit: “Contested Texts, Disputed Legacies: Thomas Paine from the Age of Revolutions to World War I.”

*A special thank you to Ruth and Sid Lapidus for their generous loan of items for the exhibit, and to Natalka Sawchuk, Assistant Director of Libraries for her tremendous support in bringing the logistics of the exhibit together.

5:30 – 7 p.m.

Friday Keynote: Romita Auditorium, Ryan Library

“The Revolution Will be Digitized! Teaching Tom Paine and the American Revolution in a Digital Age”

  • Kyle Roberts, Associate Professor of Public History and New Media, Director, Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, Loyola University, Chicago
  • Ben Bankhurst, Assistant Professor of History, Shepherd University

Saturday, October 13

Registration: Spellman Hall Lobby, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Conference Exhibit: Ryan Library, Room 800, Second Floor, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


8:30 – 10 a.m.

Session Five A (roundtable): “Founding Commemoration” (Gardiner sponsored session)

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Mariam Touba, New-York Historical Society
  • Whitney Stewart, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Thomas Lannon, New York Public Library
  • Lindsay Chervinsky, Southern Methodist University
  • Chair/comment: Will Mackintosh, University of Mary Washington

Session Five B (panel): “The Greatest Hits: The Many Meanings of Political Economy in Paine’s Works”

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Benjamin E. Park, Sam Houston State University: “Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason and the Splintering of American Religious Nationalism”
  • Henry John Latta, University of Alabama: “Painemania: How TPaine Went Viral”
  • Josh R. Klein, Iona University: “Thomas Paine and the Language of Empire and Economics”
  • Comment: Belen Garcia Trujillo, Independent Scholar

Coffee and tea break, Spellman Hall Lobby

10:30 a.m. – noon
Session Six A (panel): “Property Rights and Their Discontents: Paine and the Radical Tradition in Early American Politics and Thought”
Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Michael Crowder, ITPS: “Tom Paine’s Political Economy of Abolitionism: The Case of Slavery in the Louisiana Territory, 1803-1805”
  • Sean Griffin, Queens College, CUNY: “It Is Not Charity but a Right That I Am Pleading For”: Tom Paine’s Social Critique and the Transatlantic Roots of Radical Reform
  • John Blanton, City College, CUNY: “The First Abolition: Paineite Antislavery Thought and the 1780 Pennsylvania Abolition Act”
  • Chair/comment: Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University, Camden

Session Six B (panel): “Interpretation and Perception”

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Sam Edwards, Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage: “‘He Came From America Didn’t He?: The Thetford Statue Controversy and the Problem of Paine in Transatlantic Memory Networks c. 1909-1964”
  • Scott Cleary, Iona College: “‘To Mr. Printer’: Paine, Poetry, and the Sussex Weekly Advertiser”
  • Chair/comment: Ivy Stabell, Iona University

2 – 3:30 p.m.

Session Seven A (roundtable): “Building a Public Archive: From Nuts and Bolts to Accessibility” (Gardiner sponsored session)

Spellman Hall, Faculty Reception

  • Barry Goldberg, ITPS
  • Michael Crowder, ITPS
  • Alisa Wade, University of British Columbia
  • Chair/comment: Natalka Sawchuk, Iona University

Session Seven B (panel): “Paine and Layers of Conflict”

Spellman Hall, Faculty Dining

  • Rachel Engl, Lehigh University: “’Intimately Acquainted’: Recovering the Social Networks of Revolutionary War Veterans”
  • James McGlashin, Iona College: “Paine and the United Irishmen Rebellion, 1798”
  • Sally Xing, Columbia University: “Madman and Sage: A New Evaluation of the Unfinished American Revolution Through Paradox of the Two Toms, Paine and Jefferson”
  • Chair/comment: Lauren Duval, American University

Coffee and tea break, Spellman Hall Lobby

4 – 5:30 p.m.

Session Eight Plenary (roundtable): “Painesque Publishing: How Historians Write Politics, Then and Now”

Romita Auditorium, Ryan Library

  • Matt Karp, Princeton University, speaking on his work in Jacobin
  • Katlyn Carter, University of Michigan, speaking on her work in The Washington Post
  • Ben Park, Sam Houston State, speaking on his work for The Junto
  • Will Mackintosh, University of Mary Washington, speaking on his work for the Journal of the Early Republic‘s digital platform, The Panorama
  • Chair: Nora Slonimsky, Iona University

5:45 – 7:15 p.m.

Closing Keynote: Spellman Hall, Burke Lounge

“‘The public…will not decide wrong, unless it decides too hastily’: Revisiting Thomas Paine’s idealistic vision of deliberative democracy in the age of Presidential Twitter”

  • Seth Cotlar, Professor of History, Willamette University, and author of Tom Paine’s America: The Rise and Fall of Trans-Atlantic Radicalism in the Early Republic

A Few Notes of Thanks

This conference was made possible thanks to the support of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation and the James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust. The ITPS and Iona University are extremely grateful for their generosity. We are also indebted to the generosity of Sid Lapidus, both for the sharing of his time and of items from his wonderful collection. The ITPS would also like to thank the Provost’s Office, especially Michelle Littleton for her boundless help in putting the events together, as well as Joanne Steele, Blake Kinney, Antonio Scaccia and Peter Tascio, our incomparable web specialist, Frank Onderdonk, Doug McLeer, Urszula Pawlikowski, Jason Kattenhorn, Bill White, and the Iona IT, Libraries, Facilities, Security, and Food Services Team who did so much to bring the conference together. Assistant Director of Libraries Natalka Sawchuk was tremendous in her support. We also deeply appreciate the Iona College students, faculty, staff, Provost, and President who took the time to attend “Revolutionary Texts in A Digital Age” as well as all of the wonderful speakers.

– The Conference Organizing Committee (Smiljana Petrovic, Lubomir Ivanov, Ivy Stabell, Joshua Klein, Scott Cleary, Barry Goldberg, Michael Crowder, Tricia Mulligan, Gary Berton, and Nora Slonimsky)