Stekler, Paul | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1982
Teaching Areas
  • Policy Communications

Paul Stekler is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker and founder of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. His film work includes "George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire," "Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style," 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." His films have won two Peabody Awards, three duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards, three Emmy Awards and a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Dr. Stekler holds a doctorate in government from Harvard University, where his work focused on Southern politics. He previously worked as a political pollster in Louisiana while teaching at Tulane University. His writing has appeared in the Texas Observer, Texas Monthly and the International Documentary Association's magazine, among other places, and in the book, Killing Custer, co-written with novelist James Welch. He was named film school Mentor of the Year in 2014 by Variety.

Dr. Stekler retired from The University of Texas at Austin in 2022. His body of work is available online at

Media Expertise
  • State and National Campaign Politics
  • Elections
  • Public Broadcasting


Media MentionApril 11, 2021
Find a rope, get a tree: That's the sorry history of lynching, not the justice we need now

What was Rep. Chip Roy thinking? I don't know, but there's no excuse for words that evoke racially motivated hangings, hundreds in Texas alone.

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NewsApril 2, 2021
April 2: Faculty Research, Policy Engagement and News

10 features from the week 

  • Patrick Bixler spoke to the Associated Press about philanthropic gifts and scientific discovery after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, gave $150 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for research in biology and AI. 

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Media MentionMarch 19, 2021
Opinion: Lawmakers must save the Texas film industry

As the current session of the Texas Legislature begins to heat up, it’s fair to ask how lawmakers’ past actions have helped ensure that other states, like New Mexico, frequent stand-ins for Texas on film, and what can be done to change the economic impact on our state.

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