skip to content | Accessibility Information

Citizen of the World conference

Citizen of the World: The Use and Abuse of Thomas Paine c.1809-2009

The bicentennial of the death of Thomas Paine in 2009 saw new attention directed towards Paine’s life and times, but his legacy has still not received the attention it deserves. Vilified by Theodore Roosevelt as a ‘filthy little atheist’, yet adopted by Ronald Reagan in his campaign to make America ‘great again’, Paine’s life and legacy have been both celebrated and dismissed by generations of politicians and presidents. An Englishman by birth, a Frenchman by decree and a citizen of the world, Paine has also been invoked, discussed and appropriated by many others, in many walks of life, across the world. This conference examines the afterlife of Paine and the ways in which he has been used and abused in the two hundred years since his death. The conference, which is international and interdisciplinary in approach, looks set to be an enjoyable, engaging and rewarding occasion. We have a fascinating mix of papers, from those considering the use of Paine’s ideas in various different countries and contexts (both during his life and after), to those examining the appropriation of Paine by those on the Right and Left, to papers exploring Paine commemorations and memorials.

We are pleased to announce that there will be a keynote address from Professor Harvey Kaye of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Professor Kaye is the author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (2005).

DOWNLOAD THE FINAL PROGRAMME: FINAL.Thomas Paine Conference Programme. Nov 2013

The conference will be hosted by MMU at the People’s History Museum on 29th and 30th November 2013. The People’s History Museum is located in central Manchester at Left Bank, Manchester, M3 3ER.

Accommodation should be arranged individually by delegates. We suggest looking at the Visit Manchester website for a guide to the hotels available in central Manchester:


We ask that you register, and pay your registration fee, online before the conference. Registration will close on 22nd November. Please click on this link and choose your registration option.

If you have questions on the conference please contact either Marcus Morris at or Sam Edwards at






Keynote Speech Details:


Harvey J. Kaye

Ben & Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies

Director, Center for History and Social Change

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Title of keynote/Lecture:

The Struggle for Paine’s Memory and American Democracy


Recounting the struggle for Thomas Paine’s memory in America – how for 200 years conservatives sought to suppress it and liberals and radicals redeemed it to fight for freedom, equality and democracy – Professor Harvey J. Kaye of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will discuss how the contemporary political right has been endeavoring to appropriate Paine to undo the progressive advances made in mid twentieth century.

Time: 6.30pm, Friday 29th November 2013

Place: The People’s History Museum, Manchester, UK.

This event is open to non-delegates at a charge of £5.00 – book online here