Robert Schmuhl




Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism
Director, John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy

1037 Flanner Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Office: (574) 631-5128
Fax: (574) 631-4399


Robert Schmuhl received his bachelor's degree from Notre Dame in 1970 and a doctorate (in English and American Studies) from Indiana University in 1978. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1980, teaching at the University of Notre Dame of Australia in 1997, serving as the inaugural Naughton Distinguished Visiting Professor at University College Dublin in 2000, and being Visiting Professor of Media Ethics at St. Augustine College of South Africa in 2003. In 2004 and 2012, he was on the faculty of Notre Dame’s London Centre, and in 2009 he was the first John Hume Visiting Research Fellow at University College Dublin. In 2004, he received a Kaneb Teaching Award from Notre Dame, and in 2010 he won the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award, the only University-wide, student-selected honor given for teaching at Notre Dame.

Schmuhl is the author or editor of eleven books, including Statecraft and Stagecraft: American Political Life in the Age of Personality (1990 and 1992), Demanding Democracy (1994), Thomas Jefferson: America's Philosopher-King (1996 and 2014) and Wounded Titans: American Presidents and the Perils of Power (1996). His edited volume, The Responsibilities of Journalism, has been published in four foreign editions. Indecent Liberties came out in 2000 and was selected by the Chicago Tribune Books section as one of 40 noteworthy nonfiction titles for that year. His collection of essays, In So Many Words: Arguments and Adventures, was published in 2006, with a new, expanded edition, In So Many More Words, appearing in 2010.  This edition was a finalist for the Book of the Year Award for essays, sponsored by ForeWord Reviews. Another edited volume, Making Words Dance: Reflections on Red Smith, Journalism, and Writing, also came out in 2010 from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Schmuhl's academic articles have been published in several books and in such journals as SOCIETY, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, The Review of Politics, Issues of Democracy, and Style. In 1983 he received a Clarion Award for directing a conference at Notre Dame on the responsibilities of journalism, and in 1996 he was named a participant in the U.S. Department of Education's "Democracy at Risk" project. He served as a member of the Institutions of American Democracy Commission on the Press, established in 2003 by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, and he is the lead author of the essay “The Marketplace of Ideas” in the Commission’s volume, titled The Press, which was published by Oxford University Press in the spring of 2005. 

A frequent contributor to popular publications, Schmuhl’s columns, features, and reviews have appeared in the The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Commonweal, American Journalism Review, The Quill, and many other newspapers and magazines. He has appeared on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, the Voice of America, the BBC, Sky News, and several other television and radio programs in the U.S. and abroad.  Since 2004, he has offered news analysis from America for RTE, Ireland's public service broadcaster.

Schmuhl has most recently written on Ireland's Easter Rising.  In March of 2016, his Ireland's Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising was published by Oxford University Press.  In an article in Irish America Magazine, "Digging up the past," Schmuhl discusses the book and the process of writing it.  You may read an excerpt of the book in this TIME article:  "The American Influence on Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising."  


Most Recent Books


  • AMST 30118 The Craft of Journalism

  • AMST 30140 Multimedia Journalism

  • AMST 30181 American Political Life

  • AMST 30127 The Making of Irish America







“Bob Schmuhl is the guy I read when I want to understand how things political, cultural, and journalistic interact—and how the world works as a result. He’s an analyst who is cool and collected, and so it’s cool to know that he’s collected, between two covers.” — David M. Shribman, Pulitzer Prize winner and executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“I’ve known and respected the work of Bob Schmuhl my entire professional life. This expanded version of his work shines with enthusiasm for journalism, American culture, and the English language.” —Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar, The Poynter Institute, and author of Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer