Katlyn Carter

Katlyn Carter

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Princeton University, 2017
Time Period(s)
Early Modern, Modern
Intellectual, Legal, Political
Atlantic, Europe, United States

Katlyn Carter is a political and intellectual historian of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, specializing in the American and French Revolutions. Her research focuses on the origins of modern representative democracy through the study of political practices and institutions.

Her first book, Democracy in Darkness: Secrecy and Transparency in the Age of Revolutions (forthcoming with Yale University Press in the fall of 2023), explores how decisions and debates about the place of secrecy in politics during the Age of Revolutions shaped representative democracy. She has published in the Journal of the Early Republic and French History. Additionally, she has written numerous op-eds for The Washington Post, TIME, and the Age of Revolutions blog, for which she serves as an editor.

Her next book, tentatively titled The Politics of Truth in the Early American Republic, will provide a political history of truth in early America through an examination of the various methods people adopted to try to promote it—from the development of stenography, to the regulation of the press, and even the circulation of rumors. By tracing how people thought and talked about truth, her research will build a bottom-up intellectual history aimed at providing context to pressing questions in contemporary democracies, including: how do we arrive at truth in a democracy and how do we determine who to trust in seeking it?

Professor Carter’s research has been supported by fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, among other organizations. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She earned her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 2017 and received a B.A. with high honors in history from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009.