Klement Lecture

The Klement Lecture brings to campus distinguished scholars in American history. Established in 1992 to honor Prof. Frank L. Klement, the lecture series was devoted originally to the history of the U.S. Civil War, but it now includes all fields of American history. Prof. Klement received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1946 and joined the history department at Marquette University in 1948. He served at Marquette for twenty-seven years before his retirement at the rank of professor emeritus, and he died in 1994 at the age of 86. Prof. Klement’s scholarship focused on the Civil War era, focusing on northern dissent. He is best remembered for his monographs The Copperheads in the Middle West (1960) and The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War (1970). Earlier lectures in the Klement series can be ordered from Marquette University Press, and Kent State University Press published several lectures in the 2008 volume More than a Contest Between Armies: Essays on the Civil War Era, edited by Kristen Foster and James Marten.


27th Annual Prof. Frank L. Klement Lecture

“The Horse’s Tail: Iconoclasm in Revolutionary New York”

After a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are delighted to announce the return of the Klement Lecture to Marquette. The 27th lecture in this distinguished series will be held on Monday, April 4, 2022, at 4:30 pm in Beaumier Suites BC of Raynor Memorial Library.

In New York City on the night of July 9, 1776, a crowd emboldened by a public reading of the Declaration of Independence pulled a huge equestrian statue of King George III from its pedestal in lower Manhattan. A British officer rescued the decapitated head and sent it to London as evidence of the rebels’ defiance. American soldiers transported the remaining fragments to Connecticut, where the statue was melted down and recast as ammunition. Along the way, loyalists absconded with pieces of the statue and concealed them. In the nineteenth century, these fragments began reappearing. Artists and historical re-enactors remade this act of Revolutionary iconoclasm into an American creation story. Iconoclasm served as both a destructive phenomenon through which Americans enacted national independence and a creative phenomenon through which they continued to enact British cultural identity.

Dr. Wendy Bellion

Dr. Wendy Bellion

Professor and Sewell Biggs Chair in American Art History
Director, Center for Material Culture Studies
University of Delaware

Prof. Wendy Bellion teaches American art history and material culture at the University of Delaware and directs the university’s Center for Material Culture Studies. She is the author of Iconoclasm in New York: Revolution to Reenactment (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019). In 2014, the Smithsonian American Art Museum awarded her the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for her first monograph, Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America (University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Prof. Bellion has been awarded grants and fellowships from such institutions at the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, and the Henry Luce Foundation, and she has contributed to exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Newberry Library, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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


Previous Klement Lectures

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"