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







In the culmination of a decade-long research project, Professor Bob Schmuhl recently authored Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising, released in March 2016 by Oxford University Press. The book describes the mostly unexplored history of the Easter Rising’s origins in the United States, and is based on original archival research Schmuhl conducted in both arenas as well as England. Bringing life to these characters in a tale that had been lost to history, Schmuhl produced this project alongside a host of others on the topic, including contributing to the documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion, narrated by Liam Neeson and co-produced by the University of Notre Dame in celebration of the centenary of the event.

Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Historians have long noted that the 18th century American Revolution and the 20th century struggle for Irish independence have a number of historical, political, and symbolic parallels—in both cases, separation from Great Britain took several years to achieve, required revolutionary warfare, and tested long-established allegiances. Yet while these similarities have been documented, very few historians have considered the extent to which the roots of the Easter Rising grew in American soil. For instance, not only were Ireland's "exiled children in America" acknowledged in the Proclamation announcing "the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic," a document which circulated in Dublin on the first day of the Rising in April 1916, but also, the United States was the only country singled out in this Proclamation for offering Ireland help. Remarkably, five of the seven Proclamation signatories spent time in the U.S., with one a naturalized citizen and the others influenced by the freedoms that Americans enjoyed. Furthermore, money from the States largely bankrolled the Rising, including the purchase of weaponry used and the funding of publications distributed. And direct involvement was but one dimension of the United States' connection with the Revolution—though the Rising encompassed just six days, the events in Ireland fascinated Americans, and became a major, continuing news story throughout 1916.