About the Author

Contact me: paul.stob@vanderbilt.edu

I am an Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University. My research explores rhetoric and intellectual culture in American history, particularly in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

In Spring 2020 I published a book titled Intellectual Populism: Democracy, Inquiry, and the People (Michigan State University Press). Here’s a form you can use to save money on buying the book.

Before that book I wrote a book about William James, the great American philosopher and a brilliant communicator. Titled William James and the Art of Popular Statement, the book explores James’s career as a lecturer and public speaker.

Here you can read the introduction of the William James book if you want.

In the rest of the book I explore, among other things, James’s 1878 lectures in Baltimore and Boston, Talks to Teachers on PsychologyThe Varieties of Religious Experience, and Pragmatism. I also explore James’s advocacy of psychical research, which remains an understudied aspect of his career.

I have also edited a book with my friend Angela Ray of Northwestern University about marginalized intellectual communities in the nineteenth century. The title of the book is Thinking Together: Lecturing and Learning in the Long Nineteenth Century. It’s a great book and you should buy it, especially considering that the paperback version is not prohibitively expensive.

We also created a snazzy, useful website for the Thinking Togetherbook.

You can contact me if you really want: paul.stob@vanderbilt.edu.