Valerie Schrader, Ph.D.

Valerie Schrader
Associate Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences
Coordinator, Honors Program
Office Phone
Office Location
Nittany II Apartments, 204
Biography

Dr. Valerie Schrader is an associate professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the Penn State Schuylkill Honors Program. As a rhetorical critic, the majority of her research focuses on rhetorical messages in musical theatre texts and how those messages are communicated to audiences. Among the musicals she has published on are:

  • Six
  • Hamilton 
  • Wicked
  • Fun Home
  • Assassins
  • Ragtime
  • 9 to 5
  • Rent
  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Her research has been recognized with the National Communication Association’s Theatre, Film, and New Multi-Media Division’s Mid-Career Scholar Award, the National States Advisory Council’s Scholar of the Year Award, six top paper awards from the National Communication Association, and four top papers from the Eastern Communication Association.

Schrader has recently finished a book project titled Public Memory and the Television Series "Outlander," in which she explores how the popular television series creates public memory of the 18th century Scottish clan system, the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and colonial America. Through rhetorical criticism as a research method, Schrader examines how public memory is created in the first four seasons of the popular television show "Outlander." This book, which is set to be published by Lexington Books at the end of 2020, examines the connections between documented history and the series, as well as how the series encourages audiences to learn about history and reflect on current issues.

Dr. Schrader strongly supports undergraduate research and many of her students have presented their rhetorical criticism and autoethnographic work at the James C. McCroskey and Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference at the Eastern Communication Association (ECA). In 2017, the work presented by eight of her students resulted in Penn State Schuylkill being tied for Top School at the conference. Five of her students have had top papers at ECA’s Undergraduate Scholars Conference, the Ohio Communication Association Conference, and at the National Communication Association, and she occasionally publishes with her students.

Dr. Schrader is an active member of the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Eastern Communication Association (ECA). She has served in a number of leadership positions at ECA, and she is currently serving as Vice-Chair Elect for NCA's Theatre, Film, and New Multi-Media Division.


Awards and Grants

 

Awards

  • Top Two Paper Award, National Communication Association, Theatre, Film & New Multi-Media Division (2020) 
  • Award for Excellence in Service, Penn State Schuylkill (2019) 
  • Top Three Paper Award, National Communication Association, Theatre, Film & New Multi-Media Division (2019) 
  • Mid-Career Award, National Communication Association, Theatre, Film & New Multi-Media Division (2018) 
  • Top Paper Award, National Communication Association, Theatre, Film & New Multi-Media Division (2018) 
  • Top School Award (Penn State Schuylkill), Eastern Communication Association, James C. McCroskey and Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference (2017) 
  • Top Paper Award, National Communication Association, Theatre, Film & New Multi-Media Division (2016) 
  • Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Accomplishments, Penn State Schuylkill (2014) 
  • Top Four Paper Award, Eastern Communication Association, Kenneth Burke Interest Group (2014) 
  • Scholar of the Year Award, National States Advisory Council (2012) 
  • Top Paper Award, Eastern Communication Association, Rhetoric and Public Address Interest Group (2012) 
  • Top Three Paper Award, Eastern Communication Association, Interpretation & Performance Studies Interest Group (2012) 
  • Phenomenal Women of Penn State Schuylkill Award, Penn State Schuylkill (2011) 
  • Best Student Paper Award, National Communication Association, Theatre Division (2009) 
  • Karen & Roger Deardorff Graduate Award, Ohio University, School of Communication Studies (2009) 
  • Top Four Paper, National Communication Association, Public Address Division (2009) 
  • Top Paper Award, Eastern Communication Association, Political Communication Interest Group (2009) 
  • Paul H. Boase Family Rhetorical Scholarship Award, Ohio University, School of Communication Studies (2008) 
  • Top Poster Award, Ohio Communication Association (2008) 

Grants

  • Grant for the Penn State Schuylkill Honors Program from Barnes and Noble and the Penn State Bookstore. ($8,000, August 2020)               
  • Micro-grant from Penn State University’s Office for General Education. ($476, Awarded January 2020, to be used Spring 2021) 
  • Commonwealth Campus Group Travel Grant from Penn State University’s Office of Global Programs ($4,000, November 2019)  
  • Micro-grant from Penn State University’s Office for General Education. ($420, January 2019) 
  • Grant for the Penn State Schuylkill Honors Program from Barnes and Noble and the Penn State Bookstore. ($25,000, August 2018)
Research Interests

Dr. Schrader's research interests include:

  • Rhetorical messages in musical theatre and other popular culture texts and how those messages are communicated to audiences
  • Public memory
  • Rhetorical criticism
  • Burkean theory
  • Political rhetoric
  • Autoethnography
Publications

Schrader, V.L. (In press). Examining the “Histo-remix:” Public Memory, Burkean Identification, and Feminism in the Musical SixStudies in Musical Theatre 

Schrader, V. L. (In press). Public Memory and the Television Series Outlander. Lexington Books. 

Schrader, V. L. (2019). “Who Tells Your Story?”: Narrative Theory, Public Memory, and the Hamilton Phenomenon. New Theatre Quarterly, 35, 3, 261-274.  

Schuller, J. & Schrader, V.L. (2018). Broadcasting the Backstage: Essena O’Neill’s Facework as an Instagram Model. Ohio Communication Journal, 56, 79-92.  

Schrader, V. L. (2018). “I Know You:” Burkean Identification and Fun Home’s “Ring of Keys.” Relevant Rhetoric, 9, 1-30.
http://relevantrhetoric.com/I%20Know%20You%20Burkean%20Identification%20and%20Invitational%20Rhetoric.pdf 

Schrader, V. L. (2017). “Another National Anthem:” Public Memory, Burkean Identification, and the Musical AssassinsNew Theatre Quarterly, 32, 78-96.  

Bachert, J. & Schrader, V. L. (2017). “Journey On:” A Rhetorical Analysis of Relational Dialectics in the Musical RagtimePennsylvania Communication Annual, 73, 68-90.  

Schuller, J. E. & Schrader, V. L. (2017). “Beautiful As You Feel:” Feminism and Post-feminism in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Studies in Musical Theatre, 11, 51-64. 

Schrader, V. L. (2016). Analyzing a Performative Text through Cluster Criticism: Hegemony in the Musical Wicked as a Case Study. KB Journal, 11, 2http://kbjournal.org/schrader  

Schrader, V. L. (2016). Defining the Soubrette: A Thematic Analysis of the Soubrette Archetype in Classic and Contemporary Musical Theatre. New Theatre Quarterly, 32, 78-96.  

Schrader, V. L. (2015). Encouraging the “Little Guy” to “Shine Like the Sun:” 9 to 5 and Women’s Humor Stereotypes. Studies in Musical Theatre, 9, 215-230.  

Schrader, V. L. (2015). “Infinite Thousands”: The National Museum of the American Indian’s “Invasion Wall” and the Burkean Pentad. Relevant Rhetoric, 6, 1-14. 

Schrader, V. L. (2014). Face-work, Social Movement Leadership, and “Glinda the Good:” A Textual Analysis of the Character G(a)linda in the Musical WickedStudies in Musical Theatre, 8(1), 43-55. 

Schrader, V. L. (2013). Friends “For Good:” Wicked: A New Musical and the Idealization of Friendship. Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota Journal, 40, 7-19. 

Schrader, V. L. (2012). Rose Blossom Speaks: Reflections of a Heroine in the 1890s Western Melodrama Deadwood DickCultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 12, 505-507. 

Schrader, V. L., Joseph, L., & Wade, B. A. (2012). A Question of “Rights” vs. “What is Right:” A Textual Analysis of the Anti-Defamation League’s and President Barack Obama’s Statements Regarding the Proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero. Ohio Communication Journal, 50, 49-71. 

Schrader, V. L. (2012). Connecting to and Persuading Audiences through Musical Theatre: Burkean Identification in Pins and NeedlesPennsylvania Communication Annual, 68, 70-83. 

Schrader, V. L. (2011). Teaching math and confidence through Burkean identification: A rhetorical analysis of Danica McKellar’s Math Doesn’t SuckIowa Journal of Communication, 43(2), 210-223. 

Schrader, V. L., & Muhammad, A. (2011). Illustrating Tensions Using Stretchy String: Teaching Relational Dialectics in the Interpersonal Communication Class. Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota Journal, 38, 73-77. 

Schrader, V. L. (2011). "Good Morning, Baltimore:” Whiteness, Blackness and Othering in the 2007 Movie Musical HairsprayOhio Communication Journal, 49, 127-143. 

Schrader, V. L. (2011). “They call me wonderful, so I am wonderful:” Social Constructionism in the Song “Wonderful” in the Musical WickedPennsylvania Communication Annual, 67, 61-72. 

Schrader, V. L. (2011). Consoling Through Faith: A Rhetorical Analysis of Religious References in Bill Clinton’s Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Prayer Service Address. Kentucky Journal of Communication, 30(1), 13-27. 

Schrader, V. L. (2011). Wicked Witch or Reformer?: Character Transformations Through the Use of Humor in the Musical WickedStudies in American Humor, 23, 49-65. 

Schrader, V. L. (2009). Teachable Moments in Presidential Eulogies: A Comparative Analysis of Ronald Reagan’s Address to the Nation on the Challenger Disaster and William Jefferson Clinton’s Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Prayer Service Address. Ohio Communication Journal, 47, 215-223. 

Schrader, V. L. (2009). “No Day But Today:” Life Perspectives of HIV- positive Individuals in the Musical Rent. Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota Journal, 36, 23-36.  

Schrader, V. L. (2008). Union Kids: Using Burkean Identification to Attract Children to the Labor Movement through the AFL-CIO Website. Pennsylvania Communication Annual64, 76-89. 

Education

Ph.D., Communication Studies - Ohio University, Athens, OH (2010); Major area of emphasis: Rhetoric and public culture; Supporting areas of emphasis: instructional communication and performance; Graduate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies

M.A., Communication Studies - Ohio University, Athens, OH (2007)

B.A., Communication Arts and Sciences - Penn State University, University Park, PA (2005); Minors: Linguistics, Spanish; Schreyer Honors Scholar