Jane E. Calvert

  • Associate Professor
  • Director/Editor, The John Dickinson Writings Project
  • History
Patterson Office Tower 1763
Research Interests:

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2003


Professor Calvert’s interests are in early modern Anglo-American religious, political, and constitutional history with her research focusing on Quaker political thought and founding father John Dickinson. Her monograph, Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson, is the first of a trilogy of works on John Dickinson. It describes a hitherto unrecognized strain of Anglo-American political thought and action that explains the apparently contradictory stance that Dickinson took during the Revolution as an advocate of rights and liberty, but not independence or revolution. This study is the first analysis of Quaker constitutional theory; the first exploration of the origins of civil disobedience in Quaker political thought and action; and the first comprehensive exposition of Dickinson's political thought.
     The second work in the Dickinson trilogy is the first modern, scholarly edition of his complete political works. Professor Calvert is Director and Chief Editor of the John Dickinson Writings Project. Supported by a Scholarly Editions Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Project will produce a three-volume edition of The Political Writings of John Dickinson. It will consist of everything Dickinson wrote on public affairs between 1760 and 1807—approaching 400 documents, more than any other founder—including essays, newspaper articles, petitions, bills, broadsides, addresses, military policy, constitutions, songs, odes, speeches, as well as the seminal issuances of all the colonial congresses. The Writings will be published in both print and open-access digital editions. To read more, visit the John Dickinson Writings Project Website: http://www.uky.edu/DickinsonWritingsProject.          

     The third work of the trilogy, also in progress, is a biography of Dickinson. 

Selected Grants and Fellowships

  • Scholarly Editions Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2010-2013
  • Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2010.
  • SHEAR/Library Company of Philadelphia Fellowship, 2009.
  • Library Fellowship, The David Library of the American Revolution, 2007.
  • Association for Documentary Editing Travel Award, 2006.
  • Robert L. Middlekauff Fellowship, The Huntington Library, 2006.
  • Library Residence Research Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, 2006.
  • Monticello College Foundation Fellowship, The Newberry Library, 2005.
  • Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2005 (declined). 
  • NEH “We, the People” Summer Stipend, 2005.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship
  • Library Company of Philadelphia/Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2002.




Selected Publications: 
  • Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
  • "Liberty Without Tumult: Understanding the Politics of John Dickinson," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 132, no. 3 (2007): 233-62.
  • "America's Forgotten Founder: John Dickinson and the the American Revolution," History Compass, 5/3 (2007): 1001-11.
  • “The Quaker Theory of Civil Constitution,” History of Political Thought vol. 27, no. 4 (2006): 586-619.
  • “Political Obligation and Civil Dissent in Quaker Political Thought,” Quaker Religious Thought nos. 106/107 (2006): 68-7


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