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The American Revolution and the Origins of American Multiculturalism

Seminar Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Liam Riordan

Professor, Department of History, University of Maine

This illustrated lecture explains the American Revolution in the Philadelphia region from a rarely considered perspective: how did the Revolution draw upon and reshape the cultural diversity of early American people? We will learn how the distinctive identities of Quakers, African Americans, and Pennsylvania Germans shaped the Revolutionary mobilization in crucial ways that had lasting consequences for postwar American political life.


Liam Riordan has been a professor in the Department of History at the University of Maine, Orono, since 1997. He has published widely on the Revolutionary Era, including his 2007 book Many Identities, One Nation, which is the subject of this lecture; “‘O Dear, What Can the Matter Be?’: The Urban Early Republic and the Politics of Popular Song in Benjamin Carr’s Federal Overture,” Journal of the Early Republic (summer 2011); and has co-edited The Loyal Atlantic: Remaking the British Atlantic in the Revolutionary Era (University of Toronto Press, 2012). He is currently at work on a comparative biography of five Loyalists who lived all around the British Atlantic as a result of their opposition to the Patriot movement. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Glasgow in spring 2012, and is on the Board of Directors of the Maine Humanities Council.

Assigned Reading

Liam Riordan, Many Identities, One Nation: The Revolution and its Legacy in the Mid-Atlantic (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).


A reception will be held at 5pm at the UNE Art Gallery


Center for Global Humanities


(207) 221-4335

6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public