Klement Lecture

Previous Klement Lectures

Established in 1992, the Klement Lecture brings to campus distinguished scholars in American history. Originally devoted to the history of the sectional conflict, the series now includes all fields of American history.

Frank L. Klement

Frank L. Klement, who died in 1994 at the age of 86, received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1946. He taught briefly at Lake Forest College and at Eau Claire State Teachers College before joining the history department at Marquette University in 1948. Before his retirement twenty-seven years later with the rank of Professor Emeritus, Frank served as department chair from 1956-1958 and received the Award for Teaching Excellence in 1965. He also served as President of Phi Alpha Theta, the International Honor Society for History (1973-1974), as President of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin (1960), in many official capacities for the Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee, and on numerous editorial boards and national committees.

Klement's Work

Prof. Klement's scholarship focused on the Civil War era, particularly on northern dissenters. He authored over fifty articles and chapters in books and dozens of book reviews, but his best known works are The Copperheads in the Middle West (1960), The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War (1970), and Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War (1984). Although they are no longer published, the first dozen or so lectures can be ordered online through Marquette University Press. In 2008, an anthology of a many of the lectures was published by Kent State University Press under the title More than a Contest Between Armies: Essays on the Civil War Era, edited by A. Kristen Foster and James Marten.

2011 - 2019


Caroline E. Janney, University of Virgina

"Communities of Memory: Remembering the Civil War


Ned Blackhawk, Yale University

“American Indians and the Remaking of U.S. Colonial History” 


Kathleen M. Brown, University of Pennsylvania

Watch Kathleen Brown deliver "Undoing Slavery: Abolitionist Body Politics and the Argument Over Humanity."


Stephen Berry, University of Georgia

Watch Stephen Berry deliver "Drinking Yourself to Death in the Grand Age of Temperance: Edgar Allan Poe and the Art of Self-Destruction.”


Gray Brechin, University of California, Berkeley

"Recovering from Depression: The Living New Deal Project Uncovers a Lost Civilization Built Eighty Years Ago, And What We Can Learn from It Today.”


Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut

Watch Frank Costigliola deliver “From Cambridge Avenue to Containment: Milwaukee in the Diaries of George F. Kennan”​


Steven Hahn, Roy F. and Jeanette P. Nichols Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania

Watch Steven Hahn deliver "The Dimensions of Freedom: Slave Emancipation, Indian Peoples, and the Projects of the New American State."


W. Fitzhugh Brundage, William B. Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Watch W. Fitzhugh Brundage deliver "The American Tradition of Torture"


Kevin Boyle, Ohio State University

Watch Kevin Boyle deliver "The Splendid Dead: An American Ordeal"

2001 - 2010


Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg College

"Colonel Utley’s Emancipation; or, How Abraham Lincoln Offered to Pay for a Slave”


Patricia Limerick, University of Colorado at Boulder

"The Ownership of the Public Lands: The Romance of Local Control meets the Romance of Expertise"


Nina Silber, Boston University

"Why Northern Women Matter for Understanding the Civil War"


Stephen Engle, Florida Atlantic University

"All the President's Statesmen: Union Governors and the Civil War"


Lesley J. Gordon, Akron University

"'I Never was a Coward': Questions of Bravery in a Civil War Regiment"


William Blair, Pennsylvania State University

"Why didn't the North hang some rebels? The postwar debate over punishment for treason"


Joan Waugh, UCLA

"Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant: A History of the Union Cause"


J. Matthew Gallman, University of Florida

"'Touched with Fire?': Two Philadelphia Novelists Remember the Civil War"


David Blight, Yale University

"Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: A Relationship in Language, Politics, and Memory"


George Rable, University of Alabama

"News from Fredericksburg"

1992 - 2000


Catherine Clinton, The Citadel

"Public Women and the Confederacy"


Phillip Paludan, University of Kansas

"War and Home: The Civil War Encounter"


Edward L. Ayers,  University of Virginia

"Momentous Events in Small Places: The Coming of the Civil War in Two American Communities"


John Y. Simon, Southern Illinois University

"Grant and Halleck: Contrasts in Command"


Gary W. Gallagher, Pennsylvania State University

"Jubal A. Early, The Lost Cause, and Civil War History"


Robert W. Johannsen, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign

"The 'Wicked Rebellion' and the Republic: Henry Tuckerman's Civil War"


Richard Nelson Current, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"What Is An American? Abraham Lincoln and 'Multiculturalism'"


Mark E. Neely, Jr., St. Louis University

"Confederate Bastille: Jefferson Davis and Civil Liberties"