Nora Slonimsky

Nora Slonimsky head-shotI am the Gardiner assistant professor of history at Iona College and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies. I recently received my Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) where I studied the transnational political, legal, and commercial development of intellectual property in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

My dissertation, “The Engine of Free Expression”: The Political Economy of Copyright in the Colonial British Atlantic and Early National United States, studies the emergence of intellectual property as a regulatory political mechanism and economic mode of compensation. Focusing on the the production and transportation of art and technology, especially cartographic artifacts, as they moved across chronological, geographic, and jurisdictional borders, I argue that copyright was a pivotal feature in the contested development of individual and national sovereignty in the Early Republic. By examining the relationship between literary property and  labor, land ownership, and seditious libel, colonial and later federal calls for copyright protection became an intrinsic part of claiming a nation.

I completed my undergraduate degree in history and English literature at Binghamton University and have a masters in American studies from the Graduate Center. I serve as the social media editor for the Journal of the Early Republic, and have presented at the SHEAR, SHARP, and OIEAHC conferences. I’ve been a fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Huntington Library, the American Antiquarian Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Society of the Cincinnati, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the New-York Historical Society, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

My curriculum vitae and other information can be found at, and I am occasionally on twitter (usually in regards to tea, Star Wars, and hats) with the handle @NoraSlonimsky.