Propaganda, Persuasion, the Press and the American Revolution, 1763-1783

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Call for Papers
January 2, 2016
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, British History / Studies, Atlantic History / Studies

Conference Call for Papers

Propaganda, Persuasion, the Press and the American Revolution, 1763-1783

Carol Berkin

Russ Castronovo

Francis D. Cogliano

Mary Beth Norton

Jeffrey Paisley

William Warner

Support from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the University of Hong Kong

What role did propaganda play in the American Revolution? To what extent were attempts to persuade primarily intellectual pursuits and to what extent were they—perhaps at the same time—propaganda?  How were news, information, and general understandings of events distributed, manipulated, controlled or “spun”? What role did printers and the press play—witting or otherwise—in disseminating, restricting, reinforcing or creating various forms of propaganda? What was the relationship between the printed word and other forms of sharing information? For this conference, propaganda is defined as historians generally use the term: propaganda can be true or false, its authors and readers might have any degree of belief or disbelief about it. Propaganda is simply information distributed in the interest of political actors. Papers might address propaganda and/or its creation and distribution and use by Patriots, Loyalists, the French state, various British actors outside the 13 colonies (whether in Canada, the Caribbean or Great Britain)w, or others from 1763 through 1783.


Venue: University of Hong Kong, April 26-27, 2016.

Proposals are invited for individual papers of about 20 minutes and for panels of three such papers. Address questions to James Fichter at

To apply, send abstract of 200 words (maximum) and one-page c.v. by 2 January 2016 to

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