Valerie Schrader, Ph.D.

Valerie Schrader
Associate Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences
Co-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 co-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 include:

  • Hamilton (spring 2019)
  • Wicked
  • Fun Home
  • Assassins
  • Ragtime
  • 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, and eight top paper awards from the National Communication Association and the Eastern Communication Association.

Schrader is currently working on a book project entitled Public Memory, Relational Dialectics and the TV 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, as well as how the relationships between characters in the series can serve as examples of how to successfully or unsuccessfully manage tensions in real-life relationships.

Dr. Schrader strongly supports undergraduate research and many of her students have presented their rhetorical criticism 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. Three of her students have had top papers at ECA’s Undergraduate Scholars Conference and at the National Communication Association, and she occasionally publishes with her students.


Grants and Awards

  • 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)
  • $25,000 Grant for the Penn State Schuylkill Honors Program from Barnes and Noble and the Penn State Bookstore. (August 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)
  • 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)
Research Interests

Rhetorical messages in musical theatre texts and how those messages are communicated to audiences

Public memory

Rhetorical criticism

Publications

Schrader, V. L. (In press). “Who Tells Your Story?”: Narrative Theory, Public Memory, and the Hamilton Phenomenon. New Theatre Quarterly.

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.

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

Bachert, J. & Schrader, V. L. (2017). “Journey On:” A Rhetorical Analysis of Relational Dialectics in the Musical Ragtime. Pennsylvania 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). 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. (2016). Analyzing a Performative Text through Cluster Criticism: Hegemony in the Musical Wicked as a Case Study. KB Journal, 11, 2. http://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). “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 Wicked. Studies 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 Dick. Cultural 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 Needles. Pennsylvania 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 Suck. Iowa 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 Hairspray. Ohio 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 Wicked. Pennsylvania 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 Wicked. Studies 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 Annual, 64, 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

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