Foundations of Independence: Protest and Communication in Revolutionary America, 1770 to 2020

A Virtual Conference Hosted by Iona College and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS)

Thursday, September 24

VIRTUAL Opening event with the Thomas Paine Cottage Museum, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Thomas Paine’s Worst Nightmare: Mormon Nauvoo and the Boundaries of Religious Liberty in Early America

  • An Author Talk with Dr. Benjamin Park, Sam Houston State University, on his new book with Norton Press, Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier

Register for the Virtual Opening Event on Zoom

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College

Introduction: Gary Berton, ITPS and Affiliated Paine Historian to the Thomas Paine Cottage Museum


Friday, September 25

Registration: Registration is available via the ITPS website with a designated link per session. We’d ask all participants to please register so that they may access the Zoom webinar platform. 

Morning

9 – 10 a.m.

Session One: Historical Storytelling as Revolutionary Communication: A Performance From Storyteller Sarah Brady

Register for Session One on Zoom
 

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Introduction: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College

  • This session will feature a 20 to 30 minute performance by Thomas Paine storyteller, Sarah Brady, followed by a 20 minute Q&A.

–Break–

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Session Two A (panel): Empire Stakes: Messages of Violence in Revolutionary New York

Register for Session Two A (panel) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Chair/comment: Brett Palfreyman, Wagner College

  • Mark Boonshoft, Duquesne University, "Violent Disorder in Ratification-Era New York"
  • Benjamin Carp, Brooklyn College/CUNY Graduate Center, "Shaping the Patriot Story of the Fire of 1776"
  • Sarah Pearlman-Shapiro, Brown University, "The Coroner's Court and Public Order in Colonial New York"

Session Two B (panel): Strategies of Protest: From Individuals to Infrastructures

Register for Session Two B (panel) on Zoom

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College
Chair/comment: Alexi Garrett

  • John Laurence Busch, Independent Historian, “Steaming Redcoats?: Rhyming Resistance to Steamboat Monopolies at the Dawn of the Hi Tech Era”
  • Brian Carso, Misericordia University, ““Once His Country’s Idol, Now Her Horror”: Protesting Benedict Arnold and Defining Allegiance in Revolutionary America”
  • Douglas S. Harvey, Independent Scholar, “The Bible and Revolutionary Communication in the Eighteenth Century: Herman Husband’s Liberation Theology”

-Lunch break-

Afternoon

1 – 2:30 p.m.

Session Three A (panel): Nodes of Revolt: Connections and Tensions in Eighteenth Century Sites of Change
Register for Session Three A (panel) on Zoom

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS/Iona College
Chair/comment: Michael Hughes, Department of History, Iona College

  • Joanne Grasso, Pace University and New York Institute of Technology, “American Taverns Fomenting Revolution: The Social Media of the Eighteenth Century”
  • Samuel Harshner, Marquette University, “Gender and the Moral Economy: Ideological Drift in Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts Protest Movements”
  • Kevin Vrevich, Wesleyan University, “Moses Brown, the Abolitionist Network, and Gradual Emancipation in New England”

Session Three B (panel): Terms of Exclusion: Digital Tools and Legal Legacies of Independence through the Present-Day

Register for Session Three B (panel) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Chair/comment: Jean Bauer, Lemon and Eggs Consulting and Digital Humanities Consultant to the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS)

  • James P. Ambuske, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, “American Loyalists before the Court of Session: Litigating the American Revolution in Scotland’s Supreme Civil Court.”
  • Carl Robert Keyes, Assumption College, “The Slavery Adverts 250 Project: Chronicling Protests in the Past, Contributing to Protests in the Present”
  • Glen Olson, Immigration Institute of the Bay Area, “Historical Literacy’s Highest Stakes: The Early Republic, Democratic Practices, and the Citizenship Test”

-Break-

3 – 4:30 p.m.

Plenary: Framing Independence: Perspectives on Protest, Communication, and Anniversaries of Rebellion

Register for Plenary Session on Zoom
 

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College
Chair/comment: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College

  • Zara Anishanslin, University of Delaware
  • Tara Bynum, University of Iowa
  • Lauren Duval, University of Oklahoma
  • Molly Hardy, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • David Waldstreicher, Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Nan Wolverton, American Antiquarian Society

Saturday, September 26

Morning

Virtual Workshop: "New Directions in Authorship Attribution"
8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Zoom Link

Please note this workshop is through Zoom, not Zoom webinar. A closed group of the presenters will also convene on Sunday, September 27, 2020 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please email itps@iona.edu for more details.

Moderators: Lubomir Ivanov, Iona College, and Smiljana Petrovic, Department of Computer Science, Iona College
Organizers: Gary Berton, Iona College and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS), Lubomir Ivanov, Iona College, and Smiljana Petrovic, Department of Computer Science, Iona College

Schedule
Time (ESR) Presenter Topic
8:30-8:50 a.m. Efstathios Stamatatos Topic Bias in Authorship Attribution
8:50-9:10 a.m. Maciej Eder Authorship Attribution and the Problem of Blurred Fingerprint
9:10-9:30 a.m. Jan Rybicki Stylometry and Machine Translation
9:30-9:50 a.m. Patrick Juola Stylometry in an Adversarial Context
9:50-10 a.m. Break (10 minutes)  
10-10:20 a.m. Smiljana Petrovic and Ivan Petrovic Combining Base Classifiers for Authorship Attribution
10:20-10:40 a.m. David Hoover Identifying Collaborations of British and American writers of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries
10:40-11 a.m. Lubomir Ivanov Haiku Author Recognition
11-11:20 a.m. Gary Berton Identifying Collaborative Written Essays

Presenters

  • Efstathios Stamatatos, University of the Aegean, Greece
    • Topic Bias in Authorship Attribution
  • Maciej Eder, Pedagogical University of Kraków and the Institute of Polish Language of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
    • Authorship attribution and the problem of blurred fingerprint
  • Jan Rybicki,  Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland
    • Stylometry and Machine Translation:
  • Patrick Juola, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA
    • Stylometry in an Adversarial Context
  • Smiljana Petrovic, Iona College, NY and Ivan Petrovic, Bronx Community College, CUNY, USA
    • Combining Base Classifiers for Authorship Attribution
  • David Hoover, New York University, New York City, USA
    • Identifying Collaborations of British and American writers of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries
  • Lubomir Ivanov, Iona College, NY, USA
    • Haiku Author Recognition
  • Gary Berton, Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS), Iona College, NY, USA
    • Identifying Collaborative Written Essays
  • Organizers:
    • Lubomir Ivanov, Iona College, NY
    • Smiljana Petrovic, Department of Computer Science, Iona College, NY
    • Gary Berton, Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS)

9 – 10:30 a.m.

Session Five A (roundtable): Teaching Protest throughout Revolutionary America

Register for Session Five A (roundtable) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Chair/comment: John Winters, ITPS, Iona College

  • Mary Draper, Midwestern State University
  • Andrew Ferris, Princeton University
  • Erin Kramer, Trinity University
  • Jacqueline Reynoso, CSU Channel Islands
  • Jordan Smith, Widener University

Session Five B (panel): Religion and Communication in the late Eighteenth Century

Register for Session Five B (roundtable) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College
Chair/comment: Emily Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University

  • Carli Conklin, University of Missouri, “Providence and Protest in the Revolutionary Era”
  • Samuel Spencer Wells, University of Virginia, “Tongue Artillery”: The Society of Free Quakers and the Struggle for Freedom of Religious Communication in Revolutionary America
  • Benjamin Wright, University of Texas, Dallas, “Religious Networks and the Black Protest Tradition”

-Break-

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Session Six A (panel): Language and Information in the Formation of Protest

Register for Session Six A (panel) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Chair/comment: Al Zuercher Reichardt, University of Missouri, Columbia

  • Jay Donis, Lehigh University, “Between Mobs and Fake News: State-building in Revolutionary Kentucky”
  • Catherine Treesh, Yale University, “They will be gained over universally by falsehoods”: Communication Battles in the American Revolution.”
  • Matthijs T. Tieleman, University of California, Los Angeles, “Power of the Pamphlet: Connections and Similarities Between Common Sense (1776) and To the People of the Netherlands
  • Russell L. Weber, University of California, Berkeley, “God is Forgotten, and the Soldier Slighted: Rhetorical Passions and Political Violence during New York’s Quartering Crisis”

Session Six B (roundtable): Approaching Rev250: Public History and Communicating the Sesquicentennial
 

Register for Session Six B (roundtable) on Zoom


Moderator: Tricia Mulligan, Office of the Provost/Political Science, Iona College
Chair/comment: Michael Crowder, Iona College and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS)

  • Amy Bracewell, Superintendent, Saratoga National Historical Park
  • Devin Lander, New York State Historian
  • Aaron Noble, Senior Historian and Curator, New York State Museum

-Break-

Afternoon

1 – 2:30 p.m.

Session Seven A (roundtable): Gendered Protest in the Creation of the Age of Revolutions

Register for Session Seven A (roundtable) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Chair/comment: Hayley Negrin, University of Illinois, Chicago

  • Elise Mitchell, New York University
  • Lila O'Leary Chambers, New York University
  • Kristina Williams, Duke University

Session Seven B (panel): Visions of Self-Government: Local, Regional, and Global Interpretations

Register for Session Seven B (panel) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College
Chair/comment: Jeanne Zaino, Department of Political Science, Iona College

  • Donald F. Johnson, North Dakota State University, “Popular Statecraft and Local Authority in the Early American Revolution
  • David Houpt, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, “Vox Populi, Vox Dei?: Protests and the Limits of Sovereignty in Revolutionary Pennsylvania”
  • Derek Kane O'Leary, University of California, Berkeley, "Poland's 1830 November Uprising within the historical arc of American Independence"

-Break-

3 – 4:30 p.m.

Session Eight (partnered roundtable): Historical Communication in Conversation

Register for Session Eight (partnered roundtable) on Zoom
 

Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College
Chair/comment: Lindsay Chervinsky, ITPS/International Center for Jefferson Studies

This session will consist of a distinct format. Four scholars, in two pairs, will give a brief presentation of their specific research case-studies, after which each pair will engage in an “in conversation” style discussion. The four presenters will then participate in a broader conversation about media, communication, and how information was shared in the eighteenth century as well as through new digital humanities strategies today.

  • Micki Kaufman, Graduate Center, CUNY and Jessica Linker, Northeastern University, “Virtual Reality and Protest Pedagogy”
  • Arinn Amer and Helena Yoo, Graduate Center, CUNY, “Transatlantic Conflations and the Imperial Divide”

-Break-

Evening

4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Session Nine (performance): “Whole Lotta Paine”: A Musical Performance from Osei Helper

Register for Session Nine on Zoom

Moderator: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College
Introduction: Tricia Mulligan, Office of the Provost/Political Science, Iona College
 

This session will feature a performance from Osei Helper and his original rap about the life of Thomas Paine followed by a brief Q&A.

5 - 6:30 p.m.

Keynote: Serena Zabin, Professor of History, Carleton College, Three Centuries of the Boston Massacre
Moderator: Michael Crowder, ITPS, Iona College
Introduction: Nora Slonimsky, ITPS/Department of History, Iona College

Register for the Keynote Address

Throughout the day

Virtual Workshop: “New Directions in Text Attribution”
Zoom link provided through registration email
Please note this workshop is through Zoom, not Zoom webinar, and pre-registration with the organizers is required to attend the first session. The second session is to workshop specific aspects of the projects and thus only presenters will be in attendance. Please email itps@iona.edu for more details.
Moderator: Lubomir Ivanov, Iona College, and Smiljana Petrovic, Department of Computer Science, Iona College
Organizers: Gary Berton, Iona College and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS), Lubomir Ivanov, Iona College, and Smiljana Petrovic, Department of Computer Science, Iona College

Presenters:

  • Maciej Eder, Pedagogical University of Kraków and the Institute of Polish Language of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Authorship Attribution and the Problem of Blurred Fingerprint
    • In authorship attribution the main goal is to distinguish the stylistic fingerprint of a ‘candidate’ from other signals. However, laboratory conditions can hardly be met in real-life attribution cases. Many experiments seem to suggest that the authorial profile is usually blurred, or even overshadowed by other signals, such as genre, gender, chronology, or translation. When the amount of textual data is limited (e.g. when short texts are to be attributed), reliable attribution might not be possible at all. The paper will address the problem of short samples, assuming that the strength of the authorial fingerprint is not distributed evenly in a collection of texts; consequently, the minimal amount of textual data might differ substantially from one author to another.
  • David Hoover, New York University, Identifying Collaborations of British and American writers of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries
    • This presentation will explore a series of collaborations among a group of British and American writers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While setting up an authorship test for my DH class involving the collaboration of H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang on The World's Desire (a case that Maciej has written about), I was led into a kind of labyrinth of collaboration. Although Haggard seems not to have collaborated otherwise, I discovered that Lang also collaborated with Walter Pollock, A. E. W. Mason, and Mary Kendall. Pollock also collaborated with Walter Besant and Brander Matthews. Besant also collaborated frequently with James Rice (including one "collaboration" written after Rice died), and also finished Wilkie Collins's last novel. Matthews collaborated with H. C. Bunner, F. Antsey, and George Jessop. This rich mix of crossing collaborations presents some interesting opportunities and challenges for authorship attribution.
  • Patrick Juola, Duquesne University, Stylometry in an Adversarial Context
    • The basic assumption of stylometry is that people have a fixed and unconscious standard mode of expression, similar to their fixed and unconscious style of handwriting. However, like handwriting (but unlike DNA or fingerprints), it is possible to disguise both one's handwriting and also one's writing style. This may be problematic in a literary context (when an author is attempting a new and experimental writing style, or even a parody), but it can be catastrophic in a forensic context where hostile intention is to be expected. This talk discusses a new corpus developed to address this problem and some ongoing (preliminary) analytic results.
  • Jan Rybicki, Institute of Modern Languages at the Pedagogical University of Kraków, Stylometry and Machine Translation
    • The latest Deep Learning-based translating machines can produce translations of literary texts that, while still not perfect, are often in need of an editor rather than a translator. Humans can (usually) still detect the difference between DL MT and (good) human translation; however, stylometry-based author- and translator-attribution, which relies on statistics of frequencies of very frequent words, can no longer separate machines from people - for most, but not all, originals. This is at least what can be observed when multivariate analysis of Burrows Delta scores is applied to Google Translate, DeepL and human translations of fifty French novels into English.
  • Stathis Stamatatos, University of the Aegean, Topic Bias in Authorship Attribution

A Few Notes of Thanks:

This conference was made possible thanks to the support of Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation and the James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust. The ITPS and Iona College are extremely grateful for their generosity. The ITPS would also like to thank the Provost’s Office, especially Tricia Mulligan for her support as well as Michelle Littleton, Jill Gross, Joanne Steele, Peter Tascio, and the IT team. We deeply appreciate the Iona College students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are taking the time to virtually participate in “Foundation of Independence” as well as all of the wonderful speakers who were willing to share their work in this new format.
– The Conference Organizing Committee (Smiljana Petrovic, Ivy Stabell, Lubomir Ivanov, Michael Crowder, Gary Berton, and Nora Slonimsky