“Crafting Narratives of Empire” Conference Program

Crafting Narratives of Empire: Contested Roots of Revolution in the Long Eighteenth Century

Hosted by the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS) at Iona College and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri

September 22nd – 24th, 2022, New Rochelle, New York and Virtually via Zoom webinar

#ITPSKinderCon

Conference website: https://theitps.org/2022-conference/

In-person conference registration: https://itps.ticketleap.com/itpskindercon/

Covid-19 Precautions: while we are unsure what the public health circumstances and policies will be come September, to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety we ask that all in-person attendees remain masked while indoors except for when eating/drinking and/or delivering their own presentations. Should these precautions change as the conference approaches, we will provide as much advanced notice as possible.

*Special thanks to the Robert David Lion Gardner Foundation for supporting this conference*


Thursday, September 22nd

Opening Book Talk with Elizabeth Ellis, Princeton University: 4pm – 5pm (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: : https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_k5BiAQoxRj2–bmHG_GC9g

Chair/Commentator: Nora Slonimsky, Iona College/ITPS

Location: Location: La Penta Terrace and Auditorium

Dr. Elizabeth Ellis, currently at New York University, is an incoming assistant professor at Princeton University and a citizen of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Her opening talk will discuss her new book, The Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South. The Great Power of Small Nations will be published October 31, 2022 by the University of Pennsylvania Press.


Performance, Commentary, and Reception 5:30pm – 7pm (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8P-bdbpeTuih-oBIRc0DcQ

Chair/Commentator: Michael Crowder, Iona College/ITPS

Location: La Penta Terrace and Auditorium

Inspired by the internship collaboration between Iona College and the Center for Digital History, Mount Vernon, this event features live performances of Revolutionary Era historical tunes from the Early American Music Manuscripts Database. Under the direction of Dr. Adam Rosado (Iona College), student ensemble musicians will perform adapted tunes from the database, as well as an arrangement of Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis No. 1.” Dr. Hilary Jones (Iona College) will perform eighteenth century adapted tunes, with commentary on the art of researching and playing historical music manuscripts. Dr. James Ambuske (Center for Digital History, Mount Vernon) will introduce the performances.


Friday, September 23rd

Session One: 9am – 10:30am

1A: Forging Citizenship and Nationality in American Empire

Chair/Commentator: Jeffery Pasley, University of Missouri/Kinder Institute

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Thomas Day, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “A Total Subversion of Our Liberties: Black Liminal Citizenship, Gender, and Race in the Construction of Post-Revolutionary White New York”
  2. Evan Turiano, Queens College, CUNY , “Somerset and the Revolutionary Politics of Fugitive Slave Rendition”
  3. Duangkamol Tantirunkij, Graduate Center, CUNY, “Slave Litigants, Speculators, and Settlers: The Struggle for Legal Personhood in the Northwest Territory during the 1790s”

1B: Recrafting Imperial Narratives from the Periphery: Colonial Subjects and the Shaping of the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8qPEgVD8TkyWqK8tQQfmDg

Chair/Commentator: Michael Blaakman, Princeton University

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Brendon Floyd, University of Missouri, “Below Deck: United Irishmen, the British Navy, and the Age of Revolution”
  2. Shannan Mason, University of Missouri, “18th Century Athenaeum in Flux: Challenging the Transatlantic Center/Periphery Narrative of Scientific Knowledge Exchange between London and Philadelphia”
  3. Joseph Ross, Independent Scholar, “‘The Strongest Assurances…of Enjoying Some of Those Lands’: American Colonists and the Crafting of Imperial Land Policy in British North America, 1763-1775”

– break: 10:30am to 10:45am –


Session Two: 10:45am – 12:15pm

2A: Imperial Policy and Indigenous Politics

Chair/Commentator: Elizabeth Ellis, Princeton University

Location: Faculty Dining

  1. Ryan Langton, Temple University, “Controlling the Great Old Path: Colonies, Clans, Towns, and Traders Competing over Creek-British Diplomacy”
  2. BJ Lillis, Princeton University, “To the Heart of Empire: Pressing Indigenous Land Claims in London in 1766”
  3. Robert Paulett, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, “From Indians to Interest: Lord Shelburne’s Archive and a New Narrative of Indigenous Subjecthood in the British Atlantic”

2B: Perspectives on Loyalists

Chair/Commentator: Lauren Duval, University of Oklahoma

Location: Faculty Dining

  1. Sarah Beth Gable, Brandeis University, “What Does it Mean to be Inimical?: Massachusetts Communities, Ambiguous Allegiances, and Political Consensus in the American Revolution”
  2. Patrick O’Brien, Kennesaw State University, “Patriots in the True Sense of the World: Captain John MacDonald and a View of the American Revolution from the Canadian Maritimes”
  3. Jessica Chopin Roney, Temple University, “Statelessness in Empire Building: Two Revolutionary Diasporas”

– Lunch: 12:15pm to 2pm –


Session Three: 2pm – 3:30pm

3A: Creating National Narratives (hybrid session)

Chair/Commentator: Mark Boonshoft, Virginia Military Institute

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Billy Coleman, Kinder Institute, University of Missouri, “Benjamin Franklin and the Colonial Roots of American National Music”
  2. Shira Lurie, Saint Mary’s University, “Rupture or Continuity? The Partisan Battle for a New Political Culture”
  3. Eran Zelnik, California State University, Chico, “A Nation of Minutemen: How the Myth of Lexington and Concord Helped Forge an Empire”

3B: Surviving Empire: Small Indigenous Nations in the Long Eighteenth Century

Chair/Commentator: Daniel Mandell, Truman State University

Location: Faculty Dining

  1. Brooke Bauer, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “Catawba Women and South Carolina Empire-building in the Late Eighteenth Century”
  2. Mathew Kruer, University of Chicago, “Dismembering the Imperial Body Politic: Conestoga Constitutionalism and Settler Counter-Sovereignty”
  3. Hayley Negrin, University of Illinois, Chicago, “Cockacoeske’s Rebellion: Nathaniel Bacon, Indigenous Slavery and International Law in the Powhatan World”

– break: 3:30pm to 3:45pm –


Session Four: 3:45pm – 5:15pm

4A: Somerset v. Steuart at 250: Controversy, Opportunity, and Imperial Contexts

Chair/Commentator: David Waldstreicher, Graduate Center, CUNY

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. John Blanton, City College, CUNY
  2. Henry Buehner, Chestnut Hill College
  3. Harvey Neptune, Temple University
  4. Lee B. Wilson, Clemson University

4B: Roundtable: DH and Databasing Colonial Legacies (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yHYxK9ecTDejdk8H64L8hg

Chair/Commentator: Alexi Garrett, Saint Michael’s College

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Ben Bankhurst, Shepherd University
  2. Alison Booth, University of Virginia
  3. Linford Fisher, Brown University
  4. Alexandra Montgomery, Fred W. Smith Library at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Leventhal Map Center
  5. Marcus Nevius, University of Rhode Island
  6. Kyle Roberts, American Philosophical Society
  7. Kaitlin Tonti, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  8. Ben Wright, University of Texas, Dallas

Keynote and reception with Steven Pincus, University of Chicago: 5:30pm – 7:30pm (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C5PnfxDmSt2C1mPkuKLp_w

Introduction/Commentator: Kellen Heniford, Institute for Thomas Paine Studies, Iona College

Location: Burke Lounge


Saturday, September 24th

Session Five: 9am – 10:45am

5A: Structures of Eighteenth Century-Empire (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ceAg1HBoS3-aOJ0iJCmWzA

Chair/Commentator: Katlyn Carter, Notre Dame University

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Philippe Halbert, Yale University, “Reading Madame Bégon as Imperial Micro-History”
  2. Michael Kimaid, Bowling Green State University, Firelands College, “Power in Science and Empire: An Inquiry into the Origins of a Concept”
  3. Virginia Mondello, LUMSA University, “Self-Government, Municipalism and Central Administration: Institutional Relations in Colonial North America”
  4. Giulia Oprea, University of Texas at Austin, “Building an Empire: The Coloniality of Gender and Labor in 18th Century America”

5B: State-building in Theory and Practice

Chair/Commentator: Armin Mattes, Papers of James Madison

Location: Faculty Dining

  1. Edgar Esparza, University of Chicago, “To form the Continental Government”: American Union and sui generis Sovereignty”
  2. Douglas S. Harvey, Independent Scholar, “Idleness and Luxury as Nature’s Storehouse for Funding Government: Eighteenth-Century Social Welfare in Herman Husband’s Liberation Theology”
  3. Timothy Leech, The Mary Baker Eddy Library, “To ‘immediately raise an Army’: Reconsidering Narratives of State Formation during the American Revolution”

– break: 10:45am to 11am –


Session Six: 11am – 12:45pm

6A: Imperial Crises

Chair/Commentator: Joseph Adelman, Framingham State University

Location: Faculty Dining

  1. Joel W. Herman, Trinity College, Dublin, “Complicating Imperial Models: the Newspaper and the Centre-Periphery Framework”
  2. Grant Kleiser, Columbia University, “No Condition to Reap the Imagined Benefits of Free Ports: A Reassessment of the Imperial Crisis, 1764-1776”
  3. Helena Yoo Roth, Graduate Center, CUNY, “‘Virtual Representation’ as a Matter of Time and Communications in the Coming of the American Revolution”
  4. Robert Swanson, Rutgers University, Camden, “Richard Stockton and the Transformation of Imperial Identity”

6B: Roundtable: Claiming [the] States (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R_M8JHAgRtWzTF2tbw8wFg

Chair/Commentator: Hannah Farber, Columbia University

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Emilie Connolly, Brandeis University
  2. Yoav Hamdi, Columbia University
  3. Sean Harvey, Seton Hall University
  4. Lindsay Regele, Miami University of Ohio

– Lunch: 12:45pm to 2:15pm –


Session Seven: 2:15pm – 3:45pm

7A: Empires on the Peripheries

Chair/Commentator: Asheesh Siddique, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Boaz Berger, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Counter-Revolution or Gradual Process? The Role of Empire in British Public Participation in the Aftermath of the American Revolution”
  2. Emily Chastain, Boston University School of Theology, “Building a Methodist Empire, Establishing an Independent Network”
  3. Jeffers Lennox, Wesleyan University, “Among the Powers of the Hearth: Indigenous Nations, Canada, and the Limits of Revolution”
  4. Anjali Malhotra, Alexander College, “Revisiting the Lost Chivalry and the Sovereign Indian-Nation Community: The Sikh Empire in British Imperial India”

7B: Reevaluating Salutary Neglect and Narratives of Authority

Chair/Commentator: Emma Hart, University of Pennsylvania/McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Location: Faculty Dining

  1. Megan Cherry, North Carolina State University, “Imperial Ties: Political Economy in New York, 1691-1720”
  2. Zachary Deibel, Binghamton University, “Learning in Eighteenth-Century New York: Perceptions, Anxieties, Prescriptions, and the State”
  3. Winston Hill, Yale University, “Heats and Animosities: Jamaica, New York, and the Imperial Narrative”
  4. Amy Watson, University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Georgia: A British Imperial Project in an Age of ‘Neglect’”

– break: 3:45pm to 4pm –


Session Eight: 4pm – 5:30pm

8A: Roundtable: Public History and Commemoration (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QKTu9GdvRvawq027OG3n1w

Chair/Commentator: Michael Crowder, Iona College/ITPS

Location: Faculty Reception

  1. Shirley Brown Alleyne, Center for Brooklyn History, Brooklyn Public Library
  2. Margaret Downey, Thomas Paine Memorial Association
  3. Aaron Noble, New York State Museum
  4. Mary Tsaltas-Ottomanelli, Fraunces Tavern Museum
  5. Sergio Villavicencio, The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society

Plenary and closing reception: 5:45pm – 7:30pm (hybrid session)

Zoom Registration: https://iona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q7ABFTYiTI2vLK_CzuGJoA

Introduction/Commentator: Alec Zuercher Reichardt, University of Missouri/Kinder Institute

Location: Burke Lounge

  1. Christian Crouch, Bard College
  2. Tawny Paul, University of California, Los Angeles
  3. Josh Piker, William and Mary and Editor, The William and Mary Quarterly at the Omohundro Institute
  4. Andy Shankman, Rutgers University, Camden, and Editor, The Journal of the Early Republic
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