Event Detail

Event Detail

Secrecy and Transparency in the Era of Revolutions

Secrecy and Transparency in the Era of Revolutions


In a context where gaining public trust seemed to demand transparency, was secrecy ever legitimate during the French and American Revolutions? Whether in Philadelphia or Paris, establishing popular sovereignty required navigating between an ideological imperative to eradicate secrets from the state and a practical need to limit transparency in government.

Join us for a conversation with Katlyn Carter, assistant professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, on her new book Democracy in Darkness: Secrecy and Transparency in the Age of Revolution, which explores how the American and French revolutionaries who sought to fashion representative government confronted the dilemma of state secrecy. Carter shows how the fight shaped the nature of the world’s first representative democracies.

Carter discusses her book with Frank Cogliano, a historian of the Age of Revolution and author most recently of A Revolutionary Friendship: Washington, Jefferson, and the American Republic (February 2024), and interim Saunders Director of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lunch will be available starting at 11:30 AM, with the conversation following from 12:00-1:15 PM. Parking is not available at Bond House. If you plan to drive, there is paid parking within walking distance at the Oakhurst Inn and Central Grounds Garage.

The Nau Lab's “Touchstones of Democracy” series explores key events, places, thinkers, and texts that inform the history and principles of democracy. Join us for the spring 2024 conversations, which are produced by the Karsh Institute of Democracy and the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.


February 22, 2024 - February 22, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
City of Charlottesville

UVA's Bond House
600 Brandon Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Category: Lecture/Seminar
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