Library symposium celebrates work of Thomas Paine

A display case located in Moody Library exhibits the work of Thomas Paine, who will be featured at the Baylor Libraries symposium today and Friday. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Isabella Maso | Reporter

Today and Friday, Baylor Libraries is hosting its annual symposium to celebrate the 225 anniversary of Thomas Paine’s ‘Rights of Man.’

“Every year, the Baylor libraries has a symposium that recognizes the anniversary of a major published work,” said Dr. Christine Chan-Park, chair of the organizing board for the event.

Paine, writing in response to the French Revolution, examined the innate rights of mankind and the responsibility of government to recognize those rights, according to the Baylor Libraries website.

“For the past four years, we have picked a different public work, with this year focusing more on history and political science,” Chan-Park said.

There will be panels on both days given by Baylor staff as well as two undergraduate students. There will also be a keynote speaker each day discussing various attributes of Paine’s work.

“Dr. Gregory Claeys from Royal Holloway, University of London, will be giving more of the context of Thomas Paine’s work, and Dr. Carlos Juarez, who is a Baylor alumni, is going to be the closing speaker on Friday, and he will give a modern spin on what human rights are today,” Chan-Park said.

The event will mostly be held on the second floor of Jones library and students are encouraged to attend.

Today, attendees will have the opportunity to use a printing press to create a souvenir postcard.

“Its very timely in many ways,” said Sinai Wood, associate professor and documents librarian at Baylor.

“The traditional way Thomas Paine thought of rights, and the way we have articulated them for the symposium, the sort of new ways we think about rights in our society today, impacts all disciplines across campus,” Wood said.

For more information about the event, panel times, and keynote speakers, visit: