November 4, 2011: Historians gather at UNH for conference on the Age of Revolutions
Atlantic Networks and the Problem of Liberty in the Age of Revolutions, 1776-1815
Elliott Alumni Center
University of New Hampshire
Friday, November 4, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This conference brings together leading scholars and members of the UNH History department to discuss the new perspectives opened by recent research into the age of revolutions in the Atlantic world, focusing in particular on the individuals and their communications networks that connected these movements.
Between 1776 and 1815, revolutionary movements transformed many parts of the Atlantic world, not just France and the United States. In the Caribbean, many parts of Central and South America, along the African coast and throughout Europe, old institutions were overthrown and new states and political cultures created. All across the Atlantic world, philosophers, journalists, merchants, and “revolutionary tourists” formed bridges between these sites of revolution, while print media and private correspondence transmitted ideas and connected individuals in far-flung locations. The Atlantic World had never been so tightly interconnected as it was at the end of the eighteenth century when revolutionaries in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean who believed in universal freedom and peace took risks to propagate and implement their ideals.
The concept of trans-Atlantic networks, a major theme of research in the highly active area of Atlantic-world scholarship, opens new paths for the understanding of the period, with its focus on important figures who circulate across national boundaries—Tom Paine, Helena Williams, Anarchasis Cloots, Mary Wollstonecraft, Julien Raimond—and on the role of printed texts, translations, and the flows of private, commercial, and administrative correspondences that were one of the essential technologies sustaining the Atlantic world.
While much of the focus of Atlantic-world scholarship has been on “progressive” ideas and figures who foreshadow contemporary concepts of liberty and equality, discussions at this conference will also look at the role of trans-Atlantic networks that defended certain forms of privilege and inequality, and at figures such as Moreau de Saint-Méry, a defender of slavery in the French Caribbean who played a major role in public affairs in Saint-Domingue, in France, and in Philadelphia during these years.
8-8:30 Registration and Coffee
8:30-9 Opening Remarks
(click names/talks below for more information)
9-10:30 Border Crossers
11-12:30 Commerce, Letters and the Press
2-3:30 Entangled Identities
3:30-5 Public Reception
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the UNH Department of History. Made possible by the generous support of the Dunfey Endowment at the University of New Hampshire.
Directions to UNH
For visitor parking information, call 603-862-1010 or visit http://www.unh.edu/transportation/visitor/visitorparking.htm
For more information
Contact the History Department at (603) 862-1764.