Honors Convocation Speaker

Professor Joseph F. Kobylka

Joseph F. Kobylka is an award-winning political science professor and the director of undergraduate studies in the political science department at SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He is an authority on constitutional law and politics, judicial decision-making and American political thought. Since joining the SMU faculty in 1983, he has published three books – The Politics of Obscenity; Public Interest Law: An Annotated Bibliography; and The Supreme Court and Legal Change: Abortion and the Death Penalty – and several journal articles and book chapters. His lecture series “Cycles of American Political Thought” was published by The Teaching Company. He contributed to the PBS series The Supreme Court and is currently finishing a biography of former Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. With the support of the University Honors Program and the Richter Foundation, Dr. Kobylka teaches a biannual seminar for students pursuing original research in the Supreme Court justices’ papers housed in the Library of Congress.

Dr. Kobylka is a recipient of four SMU research grants and fellowships. He has received numerous awards, including the SMU “M” Award; Rotunda Outstanding Professor (1986, 1993, 1995, 2002, 2013); the HOPE Professor of the Year (2011); the Willis M. Tate Award (1991, 2007); SMU Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year (2006); Godbey Authors’ Award (1992); the Golden Mustang Award (1990); and the Deschner Award (1984). He was named an inaugural recipient of the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Award (2001) and is a member of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

He serves as faculty advisor to the SMU Political Science Symposium and Pi Sigma Alpha, a national political science honor society.