For further information about research on petitioning check out the Humble Petitioners website

The symposium has now finished, but for anyone interested in research on petitioning, past and present, and getting in touch with other scholars working in this field please check out the Humble Petitioners website  



cropped-manchesterlogo.jpgUntitledSHS logo Transnational Cultures of Petitioning symposium

University of Manchester

Organized by the Cultures of Politics Research Group, History Division.

The organizer would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social History Society, the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and the History Division, University of Manchester.

Register via this link (£10 fee for catering – waived for postgraduates; optional dinner @ £20)  


Monday, 29 June

Roscoe Building, 1.001

Registration and welcome 11-11.30am Registration and welcome 11.30-1pm

Panel 1: Petitions in Transnational and National Contexts

Prof. Daniel Carpenter (Harvard): Recruitment by Petition: American Antislavery, French Protestantism, English Suppression

Dr. Maartje Janse (Leiden): “The King had Never Received a Petition Like this One”: Dutch 19th Century Petitioning Practices in Transnational Perspective

Dr. Henry Miller (Manchester): Democracy, Representation and Petitioning in the Long 19th Century

1-1.45pm Lunch

1.45-3.15pm Panel 2: Local Cultures of Petitioning

Dr. Richard Huzzey (Liverpool): Abolition, Petitioning and Prosopography in Plymouth

Sami Pinabarsi (Manchester): Manchester and its Anti-Slavery Petitions, 1787-1806

Dr. Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire): The Lancashire petitions for parliamentary reform, 1816-17

3.15-45pm: Refreshments

3.45-5.15pm Panel 3: Petitioning in the Age of Revolutions

Dr. Diego Palacios Cerezales (Stirling): Petitioning and Revolution in Spain, 1808-68

Dr. Michelle Orihel (Southern Utah University): Kentucky Jacobins?: Transatlantic Republicanism and Western Remonstrances to the Washington Administration, c. 1793-94

Dr. Yann-Arzel Durelle-Marc (Université Paris 13): Constancy and Difference in Petitioning in Revolutions in the Atlantic World, 17-19th Century

5.30-6.30pm Keynote, room tbc Prof. David Zaret (Indiana): Petition and Response in Pre-Modern Eurasia

7.30pm Dinner, Evuna, Deansgate

Tuesday, 30 June Roscoe 1.001

9.45am Refreshments

10-11.30am Panel 4: Petitioning and the Languages of Identity

Prof. James Jaffe (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater): The Languages of Petitioning in Colonial India

Prof. Mark Knights (Warwick): Was There a Right to Petition?

Dr. Benoit Agnes (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne): Shaping Feminine Identity through Female Petitions: An Anglo-French Comparison, 1814-48

11.30-12 Refreshments

12-1pm Panel 5: Roundtable: Future Directions for Research

Prof. Daniel Carpenter (Harvard)

Prof. Malcolm Chase (Leeds)

Prof. Mark Knights (Warwick)

Prof. David Zaret (Indiana)

Chair: Dr. Henry Miller (Manchester)

1-2pm Lunch


Any queries please email Henry Miller at

Transnational Cultures of Petitioning from 1750 to the present

manchesterlogoUntitledSHS logo

Petitioning was and is a universal phenomenon that transcends place and time. In pre-democratic periods it was frequently the most accessible form of popular political participation, but it has long been neglected by historians and political scientists pre-occupied with voting, elections and parties. The recent rise of e-petitioning and the crisis of traditional representative democracy across the Western world makes the study of alternative forms of popular representation and participation not only timely but urgent. This two day symposium brings together historians and social scientists to highlight future directions for research in this exciting emerging field.

The symposium will identify key questions for the study of petitioning in North America, Britain and Europe from 1750 to the present, specifically focusing on the changing relationship between petitioning and participation, representation and democratic development. In particular, the symposium seeks to promote the study of the transnational and comparative study of petitioning and place national and local studies in global perspective.

Participants include:

Dr. Benoit Agnes (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)Prof. Daniel Carpenter (Harvard)

Prof. Malcolm Chase (Leeds)

Dr. Yann-Arzel Durelle-Marc (Université Paris 13)

Dr. Richard Huzzey (Liverpool)

Prof. James Jaffe (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)

Dr. Maartje Janse (Leiden)

Prof. Mark Knights (Warwick)

Dr. Henry Miller (Manchester)

Dr. Michelle Orihel (Southern Utah University)

Dr. Diego Palacios Cerezales (Stirling)

Sami Pinabarsi (Manchester)

Dr. Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire)

Prof. David Zaret (Indiana)

The organiser gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social History Society, the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and the History division, University of Manchester. This event is organised by the Cultures of Politics research group, History division, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.