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Trinity Hall lecture in New York – postponed due to COVID-19

Date & timeThursday, 2 April 6:00pm - 8:00pm
LocationCambridge in America, 1120 6th Ave
Cost$30 per person
Booking closing date Monday, 23 March 12:00pm
Dress code Smart causal
Event type Drinks reception and lecture

Notice of cancellation:

Due to COVID-19 there are now travel restrictions in place which mean it is no longer possible for the Development Director to travel to the US and Canada to host Trinity Hall events. As a result of this and the restrictions placed on gatherings, we regret to inform you that we have to postpone this event. We very much hope to reschedule the event for later this year however we are not able to say when this would be at this time, but we will circulate details as soon as they are available. Full refunds will be issued to those who have registered. If you have any questions, please contact


Trinity Hall alumni and friends are invited to join the Development Director, Dr Rachelle Stretch, for a drinks reception hosted at the Cambridge in America offices on Thursday 2 April 2020.  They will also be joined by Adam Lebovitz, WYNG Research Fellow in Political Theory and Philosophy at Trinity Hall, who will give a lecture on “An American in Paris: Thomas Paine and the French Revolution”.

Drinks will be served from 6pm followed by the lecture at 6.30pm. The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes with an opportunity for Q&A at the end. Further drinks and nibbles will be served until approximately 8pm. Guests are welcome to attend.

Lecture summary and biography

Adam Lebovitz is a historian of constitutional thought, and currently the WYNG Research Fellow in Political Theory and Philosophy at Trinity Hall. He holds both a law degree and a PhD from Harvard University. His first book, Reflections on the Terror: Thomas Paine’s Lost Manuscript on the French Revolution, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Summary: Thomas Paine was the most celebrated political writer of America’s founding generation, and remains an object of fascination today in both his native England and his adopted United States. Less well-known is Paine’s long career as a writer and actor in the French revolution, where he sat as a member of the National Convention, and developed close working relationships with many of its leading personalities. We know that Paine was an opponent of Robespierre, and was imprisoned by the Jacobin government at the height of the Terror. But because Paine left only fragmentary commentaries on French revolutionary politics, scholars have long debated his precise beliefs and positions on the revolution. In today’s talk I will present a new view of Paine’s political activities in France, building on work being done by a rising generation of scholars in America and France. At the heart of my presentation is a 200 page manuscript that I discovered in the French National Archives in 2017, which I have argued is likely an unknown text by Paine, and one which places his beliefs in a new light. This manuscript, read alongside his other writings from the same period, highlights the vast ideological distance that separated Paine from the Jacobins, and makes clear his deep aversion to political violence, incursions on private property, and other features of sans-culotte democracy. The talk will draw out the ways in which Paine, the great radical, republican, and revolutionary, was also a kind of conservative. And it will conclude by asking what this tells us about one of the perennial “great questions” of political theory, that is, the differing characters of the American and French revolutions.

Booking and cost

The cost is $30 (approx. £25) per head and you are invited to bring a guest.

Guest list

The guest list will be available to view in due course. Please note that only Trinity Hall members will appear on the list.


The drinks reception and lecture will take place at the Cambridge in America offices located 1120 6th Ave, New York.

Dress code

There is no dress code.


We like to take photos at our alumni events to use in our digital and print communications. If you do not wish to have your photo taken, please let us know in advance or on the day.


We are able to offer refunds for bookings cancelled five working days or more before an event. Requests for late refunds will be considered on an individual basis and refunds will be issued at the discretion of the Alumni & Development Office. We cannot accept responsibility if weather or disruption to travel prevents you from attending. Please email or contact +44 (0)1223 332550 at the earliest opportunity if you need to cancel a booking.

To view the College’s policy on Coronavirus in relation to alumni events, please visit:


If you have any queries, please contact Emma Grieveson on or call +44 (0)1223 332550.