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2018 Bennion Teachers' Workshop - Revolution, Representation, Propaganda:
Discovering Democracy in the 18th-Century Atlantic

Date: Monday, June 4 - Friday, June 8, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily; Additional Events on Monday and Thursday Evenings

Place: University Inn - Room 507, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Director: Dr. Julia Gossard, Assistant Professor of History, USU

Endowed By: Ione Spencer Bennion

Media and Technology Meet History

Various forms of media have long served as catalysts of revolution and change. The 2018 Bennion Teachers' Workshop will focus on media and the experiments with representative governments that emerged from the violent upheavals of revolution at the end of the eighteenth century in the United States, France, and Haiti. 

  1. Participants will explore the topic through an immersive role-play simulation of the American Revolution ("Reacting to the Past") that will offer a broad background on social, ideological, and political forces.
  2. The workshop will critically examine the uses of revolutionary-era media, including propaganda, newspapers, and pamphlets.
  3. Participants will collaborate in a cumulative project to create an educational resource website on comparative Atlantic Revolutions.


Ben Franklin at Computer

Guest Presenters

Dr. Wim Klooster, Keynote Scholar, Professor at Clark University and author of one of the workshop's main texts, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History

Dr. Robert Olwell, Jefferson historian who has used the "Reacting to the Past" platform in classes at the University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Liz Covart, Digital Projects Editor at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and founder of the award-winning podcast Ben Franklin's World

Dr. Julia Gaffield, Historian who rediscovered the first draft of the Haitian Constitution

Jessica Grzegorski, Newberry Library Archivist who manages the Newberry's collection of nearly 30,000 pamphlets from the French Revolution

Dr. Angela Diaz, Utah State University, historian of territorial expansion in the Gulf South and Latin America and Haitian slave rebellions

Haitian Revolution Image

Daily Highlights

  • Monday: What is "Atlantic" and Comparative History? Discussion of the Methods and Themes of the 2018 Workshop
    Evening: Keynote Address - Free and Open to the Public at 6:30 p.m.: "Discovering Democracy in the 18th-Century Atlantic" by Dr. Wim Klooster. Book Signing and Light Reception. Eccles Conference Center, Room 207.

  • Tuesday: Privileges versus Rights: Mock "Estates General" Meeting at the USU Amphitheater and Preparing for "Reacting to the Past" Role-Play

  • Wednesday: Media in the Age of Revolutions: Special Session in the Merrill-Cazier Library's Special Collections

  • Thursday: Competing Declarations: Comparing Independence Documents from America, France, and Haiti
    Evening: Eighteenth-Century Feast: Offsite Banquet Celebrating Period Food & Music (For workshop participants and guests - tickets for guests may be purchased ahead of time at $20 each - Please RSVP)

  • Friday: Ben Franklin's World: Revolutionary Podcast and Writing Our Own Constitutions

Haitian Revolution Image

Workshop Location, Meals, Lodging, Parking

Location: The workshop will be in the conference room located in the University Inn - Room 507

Time: A continental breakfast will be available each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. The workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with additional events on Monday and Thursday evenings (see Daily Highlights).

Meals: Continental breakfasts, lunches, and the Thursday night banquet included as part of enrollment in the workshop. There are many dining options available close by in Logan for your evening meals. 

Lodging: Accomodation options include:

  • Reservations at the University Inn on USU Campus may be made prior to May 25th at the Bennion Teachers' Workshop rate.
  • Several hotels are available in Logan. For a list please email 

Parking: If you are driving to campus each day, you may  purchase a week-long parking pass (see instructions) for one of the "orange" lots near the University Inn (see map) for $20.00 for the entire week. Daily parking is also available in the Big Blue Terrace or the Aggie Terrace for $1.50 per hour or $7.50 for the entire day.