John S Schmit


CB 59

I have been a member of the Augsburg faculty since 1990, teaching a variety of writing, language, and literature courses in the English Department and courses on professional communication in the Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Business Administration programs.

My primary theoretical area of interest is linguistics and the study of meaning in language. For most of the past decade, these concerns have lead me deeper into cognitive science and the study of language in the brain. These studies intersect in fascinating ways with conventional approaches to the interpretation of literary texts, and they provide new and compelling ways to practice and evaluate literary theories. It seems I’ve been crossing these interdisciplinary boundaries ever since my dissertation, which analyzed linguistic devices for creating rhythm in free-verse American poetry.

Toward more practical ends, I enjoy teaching courses that foster professional communication skills, especially in writing, in part because these courses allow me to combine my undergraduate degree in management with my graduate training in sociolinguistics, a discipline that focuses on the production and interpretation of messages. I teach professional and business writing at the undergraduate level, and I also teach Communication Issues for Management in the MBA program and The Language of Leadership in the MAL program. This latter course combines approaches to critical discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and the rhetoric of persuasion.

In addition to these teaching experiences, I have spent more than eight years in administration at Augsburg, first as Director of Weekend College and more recently as Dean of Graduate and Adult Academic Programs.


  • B.S. St. John’s University
  • M.A. University of New Orleans
  • Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin