Wolfgang Mieder, professor of German and folklore at The University of Vermont and the spring 2013 distinguished lecturer for Penn State Harrisburg’s American Studies program, will speak at 7 p.m. on April 4, in the Olmsted Building Gallery Lounge (W-107) on campus. Mieder’s presentation, "'Let Us Have Faith that Right Makes Might': Proverbial Rhetoric in Decisive Moments of American Politics," is free and open to the public. During the talk, he will provocatively examine the use of proverbs and folk speech as strategies of persuasion by notable recent political leaders in turbulent times.
An internationally recognized scholar, Mieder has authored more than 100 books, including "Yes We Can: Barack Obama's Proverbial Rhetoric" (2009), "The Politics of Proverbs" (1997), and "Proverbs Are Never Out of Season: Popular Wisdom in the Modern Age" (1993). His research interests include folklore and popular culture, speech and rhetoric, and American political discourse.
Mieder has received numerous awards, including the American Folklore Society's Lifetime Achievement Award and the coveted International Pitre Prize. He has served as visiting professor at the University of Freiburg in Germany and at the University of California at Berkeley.
“In this the 40th anniversary year of the American studies program, Dr. Mieder exemplifies the complete scholar and public intellectual whose analytical lens has been focused on the American scene as well as its global context,” said Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore Simon Bronner. “He has to rank among the most productive important writers on culture globally and his works on language and culture have had a profound impact on the way that scholars from any number of disciplines think about our world.”