Skip to main content
Summer Institute on the Constitution

The Annual James Madison Lecture

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation's Annual James Madison Lecture Series, funded by the Foundation's nonprofit The James Madison Education Fund Inc., is one of the Foundation's flagship programs. The lecture is held in conjunction with the Summer Institute on the Constitution, which provides the opportunity for James Madison Fellows to hear directly from the nation's top experts on the U.S. Constitution. For over 20 years, America's thought leaders have used the James Madison Lecture to raise topical issues related to the U.S. Constitution, and drive debate on significant questions.

This event is open to James Madison Alumni, Friends of the Foundation, and the general public. Past editions of The James Madison Lecture Series are available for viewing on the James Madison Foundation's YouTube page, American History Videos, and on C-SPAN3 American History TV.


The Revolutionary Beginnings of the Civil War

The 23rd Annual James Madison Lecture, titled "The Revolutionary Beginnings of the Civil War," was given by Dr. Gordon S. Wood on July 5, 2019 at Georgetown University. Dr. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor Emeritus of History at Brown University, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author spoke about the American Revolution's impact on the Civil War.


Past James Madison Lectures and Symposiums

2019: Gordon Wood

2018: Jeffery Rosen

2017: Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America

  • Stephen F. Knott, United States Naval War College

2016: George Washington: First Entrepreneur

  • Edward Lengel, University of Virginia

2015: Magna Carta: Its Legacy in American Constitutionalism

  • A.E. Dick Howard*, White Burkett Miller Professor of Law, University of Virginia

2014: The Founding Fathers Reconsidered

  • R. B. Bernstein, Distinguished Adjunct Professor, New York Law School

2013: Ghosts in the Machinery: Women in the Constitution

  • Dr. Catherine Allgor*, Director of Education, Huntington Library

2012: James Madison: Republican Revolutionary

  • Dr. Stuart Leibiger, Associate Professor of History, La Salle University

2011: Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

  • Dr. Pauline Maier*, Professor of History, MA Institute of Technology

2010: The Ladies of Liberty

  • Cokie Roberts, Journalist and Author, Washington, DC

2009: Was James Madison Really the Founding Father of the CIA?

  • Dr. John C.A. Stagg*, Professor of History, University of Virginia

2008: Freedom of Speech and the Press in the Information Age

(co-sponsored by McCormick Freedom Museum)

  • Victoria Clark, Senior Advisor, Government Affairs, Comcast Corporation
  • Todd Gaziano, Director for Legal and Judicial Studies, Heritage Foundation
  • Dr. Jane Hall, Associate Professor of Journalism, American University
  • Brian Lamb, CEO, C-Span Networks
  • Dr. Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Steve Rendal, Senior Analyst, Fair and Accuracy in Reporting

2007: The Global Voyage of American Constitutionalism

  • A. E. Dick Howard, White Burkett Miller Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

2006: The Lost Opportunity: The Failure to Free Slaves During the American Revolutionary Era

  • Dr. John Kaminski, Center for the Study of the Constitution, University of Wisconsin

2005: The Gift Outright: Repaying the Legacy of the American Founding

  • Dr. Colleen Sheehan, Professor of Political Science, Villanova University

2004: A Jefferson for the Twenty-First Century

  • Dr. Jean Yarbrough, Professor of Social Science, Bowdoin College

2003: What Would Madison Say

  • Dr. Ralph L. Ketcham, Professor of History, emeritus, Syracuse University

2002: Patriotism and Multiculturalism: Teaching American History in Wartime

  • Dr. Robert Stevens, Associate Director of College of Education, Georgia Southern University
  • Dr. David Warren Saxe, Associate Professor of Education, Pennsylvania State University

2001: Reading Madison’s Mind

  • Dr. Jack Rakove, Professor of History, Stanford University
  • Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri, University Professor, George Mason University

2000: Presidential Politics and Judicial Independence

  • Mark Tushnet, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center
  • Dr. Richard E. Morgan, Professor of Law and Government, Bowdoin College

1999: Gender and the Constitution

  • Linda Chavez, Chairman, Center for Equal Opportunity
  • Anita Blair, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Navy
  • Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, President, Women in Military Foundation

1998: Religion and the Constitution

  • Dr. Michael Uhlmann, Professor of Government, Claremont-McKenna College
  • Dr. Daniel F. Martensen, Director of Ecumenical Affairs, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

1997: Race, Slavery, and the Constitution

  • Dr. Ronald Waters, Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. William B. Allen, Professor of Political Philosophy, Michigan State University

1996: Madison, Jefferson, and American Constitutionalism