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Paul Stekler

Paul  Stekler

Professor of Public Affairs and Department Chair of Radio-Television-Film

Contact Info

CMA 6.120

Faculty Website

Paul Stekler is a nationally recognized documentary filmmaker whose critically praised and award-winning work includes George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire; Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style; Vote for Me: Politics in America, a four-hour PBS special about grassroots electoral politics; two segments of the Eyes on the Prize II series on the history of civil rights; Last Stand at Little Big Horn (broadcast as part of PBS's series The American Experience); Louisiana Boys: Raised on Politics (broadcast on PBS's P.O.V. series); and Getting Back to Abnormal (which will air on P.O.V. in the summer of 2014). Overall, his films have won two George Foster Peabody Awards, three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards, three national Emmy Awards, and a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. See a brief summary of his films on American polities here.

Dr. Stekler also has a doctorate in Government from Harvard University, where his work focused on Southern politics.  He previously was a political pollster in Louisiana, while teaching at Tulane, and was the founder of Center for Politics and Governance at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.  His writing, on subjects like Hollywood blockbuster films, the greatest Texas documentaries, American politics and politics as depicted in documentary films has appeared in the Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, the International Documentary Association’s magazine, among other places, and in the book, “Killing Custer," co-written with the late Native American novelist James Welch. Stekler was named film school Mentor of the Year in 2014 by Variety Magazine.  Dr. Stekler was also the founder of the LBJ School’s Center for Politics and Governance.

Stekler’s films have all been broadcast nationally on PBS, on POV, the American Experience, Frontline, and as specials.  He’s also been an Executive or Consulting Producer on a number of documentaries including Margaret Brown’s Be Here to Love Me, Peter Frumkin’s Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home, Karen Skloss’ Sunshine, and Keith Maitland’s The Eyes of Me.


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1982

Current Positions
Previous Positions

Host, Special Session, (Texas statewide political news show on PBS); Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style (film, 2004); George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire (film, 2001); Vote for Me: Politics in America (film, 1997); Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965-1980 (film, 1990); Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (film, 2004); Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home(film, 2006)


For archived news, commentary and courses from this faculty member, click here.