Stephen Schneider

Associate Professor

Contact Information


Stephen Schneider received his BA from the Australian National University and his MA and PhD from the Pennsylvania State University, where he specialized in rhetoric and composition. After teaching for three years at the University of Alabama, he joined the faculty at UofL. He is the author of You Can’t Padlock an Idea: Rhetorical Education at the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1961, and has published essays in College English, College Composition and Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Advanced Composition.

Dr. Schneider’s research focuses on the relationship between education and social movement rhetoric, and particularly on the question of how social movement participants develop and deploy collective rhetorical actions. In addition to looking at how social movements make specific use of educational programs (such as the workers’ schools established by labor activists or the freedom schools of the civil rights era), his research also examines how social movement rhetoric intersects with the broader political and cultural rhetorics of the New Deal and the American South. He is currently working on a book-length stud of the relationship between the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, the New Deal, and civil rights rhetoric.

His other research centers on the role of the public and the public sphere in rhetorical theory, and the ways in which our notions of the public intersect with both deliberative democracy and welfare state economics. He hopes to look at the relationship between collective action, rhetoric, and the economy in a project tentatively titled Publics, Communities, Crowds: Rhetoric and Collective Action in the Age of Debt.

Dr. Schneider regularly teaches courses on the history of rhetoric, the rhetoric of social movements, critical theory, and African American literature. As director of graduate studies, he is responsible for academic advising in both the MA and PhD programs and works with the graduate studies committee on recruitment and admission for UofL’s graduate programs in English.

Courses Taught

Prerequisite: Meet admission requirements of the University of Louisville. Students engage in critical thinking and writing by developing their writing processes and producing finished prose. Required writing consists of multiple drafts of 4-6 papers of varying lengths.
Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or 105. Focuses on responding to differing rhetorical situations at an advanced level in appropriate modes for diverse audiences. Emphasizes creating and revising several substantial writing projects. Develops critical reading and writing abilities in multiple genres.
Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or 105. Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR). Extensive practice in literary analysis and in the forms and conventions of writing about various literary genres.
Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or 105; ENGL 300 or 310. Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR). Formerly ENGL-323; credit may not be earned for this course by students with credit for ENGL-323. Study of selected works, in a variety of genres, by African American writers from 1845 to the present day. Taught with attention to historical and cultural context. Historical period: post 1900.
Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or 105; ENGL 306 and 310. Study of selected theories for the interpretation of literary and other texts, from the New Criticism to the present.
Prerequisite ENGL 300 or ENGL 309 or ENGL 310, or consent of instructor. Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR). Introduction to the theory, research, and practice that informs the effective teaching of writing.
Review of rhetorical theory and practice in the Greek, Roman, early Christian, medieval, and scholastic periods.
Review of rhetorical theory and practice in the English Renaissance, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the modern and contemporary periods.
Involves discussion and analysis of advanced research topics leading to the dissertation.
A selective survey of theories of interpretation from the New Criticism to the present, and of interpretive practices based on these theories.

Educational Background

    M.A., Ph.D., English, Pennsylvania State University

      Research Interests

        Social movement rhetorics; Education and social change; African American rhetoric; Rhetorical and critical theory