Casper Lecture

The annual Casper was inaugurated by the History Department in 1993 to honor Rev. Henry W. Casper, S. J., a long-time member of the history departments at Creighton University in Omaha and at Marquette University (he retired as Professor Emeritus from Marquette in 1974). He was an expert in nineteenth century European History and in American church history; his most important work was a three-volume history of the Catholic Church in Nebraska. The Casper Lecture, as well as several programs for graduate students in history, is funded by an endowment from Dr. and Mrs. Wayne L. Ryan of Omaha. Dr. Ryan was a student of Father Casper’s at Creighton.

20th Annual Rev. Henry W. Casper, S.J., Lecture

April 22, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. | Lunda Room, Alumni Memorial Union


"Frameworks for the Future: Climate Change, the Environment, and the Anthropocene"

Dr. Julia Adeney ThomasDr. Julia Adeney Thomas
Department of History, University of Notre Dame

What is the best concept for talking about the destruction of the natural world?  Here’s where intellectual history can help.  This talk explores three ways of framing our planetary challenge, each with its own science, history, and politics.  While each framework has its uses, Thomas argues that the Anthropocene best captures the unprecedented, unpredictable reality of our altered Earth.


Free and open to the public
Sponsored by the Marquette University Department of History
For more information, call 414.288.7217.



Previous Casper Lectures

2010 - 2023


Dr. Guy Beiner
Craig and Maureen Sullivan Millennium Chair, Professor of History and Director of Irish Studies, Boston College

"Forgetting a Global Pandemic: Lessons from the Spanish Flu"


Dr. Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens
Professor of History, California State University, Northridge

"Medical Sites of Modernity in Guatemala: Women Religious and Maya Health During the Cold War"


Watch Anna Clark deliver, "Human Rights and Animal Rights: Local Control of Hospitals in the 1890s British Empire”

Anna Clark of the University of Minnesota delivered the 17th annual Casper Lecture on March 26 at Marquette University's Raynor Library. Her topic was “Human Rights and Animal Rights: Local Control of Hospitals in the 1890s British Empire.” Her lecture is part of her current book project, which is tentatively called, “Rage against the Machine: Individual Rights, Biopolitics in Britain and its Empire.” 

Anna Clark is professor of history at the University of Minnesota and President of the North American Conference on British Studies. She is the author of Desire: The History of European Sexuality (2008), Scandal: The Sexual Politics of the British Constitution (2004), and The Struggle for the Breeches: Gender and the Making of the British Working Class (1995). She is a former editor of the American British Studies Journal.


Eckart Frahm, Yale University

Watch Eckart Frahm deliver “The Rape of Clio: History, Memory and the Cultural Heritage Crisis in the Middle East.”


Juan Cole, University of Michigan

Watch Juan Cole deliver "Iran's Intervention in Syria: Ideology or Pragmatism"


Leonard V. Smith, Oberlin College

Watch Leonard V. Smith deliver "The War After the War: Drawing Boundaries at the Paris Peace Conference"


Jon E. Lendon, University of Virginia

Watch Jon E. Lendon deliver "Ancient Greek Infantry Combat: What Can Modern Riots Tell Us?"


Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan

"She had always enjoyed her freedom: Re-enslavement and the Law in the Era of the Haitian Revolution."


Anthony F. Aveni, Colgate University

Watch Anthony F. Aveni deliver "Maya Apocalypse Soon?"


Raymond Mentzer, University of Iowa

Watch Raymond Mentzer deliver Standing for Mass, Seated for Sermon: An Unexpected Liturgical Consequence of the Protestant Reformation"


2002 - 2009


Judith Bennett, University of Southern California

Watch Judith Bennett deliver "Death and the Maiden in Chaucer’s England"


Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago

"North Korea: Still in the axis of evil?"


Julia Clancy-Smith, University of Arizona

"Where Elites Meet: Harem Visits, Sea-Bathing, and Sociabilities in Tunisia, c. 1830-1881"


Marianne Elliott, University of Liverpool

"Irish Protestantism and the Specter of Popery"


Jonathan Spence, Yale University

"Thinking it Through: Chinese and Catholics in the Seventeenth Century"


Susan Desan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"The Politics of Love: Marriage, Divorce, and Gender Relations during the French Revolution"


Paul Cobb, University of Notre Dame

"There Goes the Neighborhood: The World of a Muslim Family in an Age of Crusades"


John Merriman, Yale University

"Collaboration and Resistance in Vichy France."