Katlyn is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Department of History, where she is working on a dissertation about state secrecy and representative politics in the eighteenth-century Atlantic World. The project explores how decisions and debates about the place of secrecy in politics during the Age of Revolutions shaped both the conceptual evolution and practical implementation of representative democracy. In it, she traces how revolutionaries in the United States and France navigated the tension between an Enlightenment imperative to eradicate secrets from the state and a practical need to limit the extent of transparency. Her research shows how decisions about what could be publicly visible in the political process determined the character and durability of representative regimes in these two countries. By considering the French and American Revolutions in tandem, the project deepens our understanding of representative government and provides a historical foundation for thinking about the place of state secrecy in modern democracies.
This year, Katlyn holds a Friends of the APS Fellowship in Early American History at the American Philosophical Society. She has received grants from the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and the Council for European Studies to support her research in archives and libraries in France and the United States. She has also taught history of the Early American Republic and is currently a fellow at the Princeton Writing Center.
Katlyn’s broader research interests include the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, comparative revolutions, and history of the book and media. Prior to coming to Princeton, she received a B.A. with high honors in History from the University of California, Berkeley and worked as a media-relations consultant in Washington, DC. She is originally from Portland, Oregon.