SLU Professor Showcase

SLU has an immense faculty, with just over 2000 staff members. Each year, many faculty members release research data or books about their field of expertise, which often spans a wide range of disciplines. Much of this goes unnoticed by the general SLU population as it is drowned out by the countless other readings that college demands. It is unfortunate that such valuable and fascinating research conducted on campus goes unnoticed. In spite of this, however, here are some of the many works by SLU staff that have been recently completed or will be released soon.

(Photo Courtesy of Paradigm New Media Group)
  • Dr. Steven Rogers – Accountability in American Legislatures


Steven Rogers, PhD, is a professor of Political Science here at SLU, and given his name and superpower of knowledge, he is the Captain America of politics. His forthcoming book Accountability in American Legislatures addresses one key question: do elections hold state legislators accountable for their performance? This seems like a straightforward question yet in reality is much more complicated. 

Rogers explains that the actual numbers for knowledge about state legislatures are not positive.

“Only nine percent of American voters know who their state legislature is, and a little over half know which party controls the legislature,” Rogers said.  “If you don’t know who’s in charge, it can be a tricky pickle to hold them accountable.” 

This is troubling because in the last several months, state Legislatures have become increasingly prominent over divided issues such as transgender healthcare and abortion, making the issue of accountability extremely pressing.

A challenge with books like Rogers’ and other political science research is often its perceived dryness and seemingly endless amounts of undecipherable graphs, but Rogers has tried to make his book more approachable. His target audience is “smart college sophomores,” who may have an interest in this topic but can be driven away by technical and complex graphs. As Rogers explains, he uses “stories of state legislators to highlight or give more color” to these often more theoretical political science concepts like effectiveness, voter knowledge and incumbency advantage. His book comes out later this year on September 11 and is available for pre-order now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

(Emma Duman / The University News)
  • Dr. Fabien Montcher – Mercenaries of Knowledge: Vicente Nogueira, the Republic of Letters, and the Making of Late Renaissance Politics.


Over the last year or so, numerous books have faced scrutiny in various state legislatures and school boards across the United States. However, the connection between books and politics is not a new one and is explored in history Professor Dr. Fabien Montcher’s upcoming Mercenaries of Knowledge: Vicente Nogueira, the Republic of Letters, and the Making of Late Renaissance Politics

This book centers around the life of Vincente Nogueira, a book trader and something of a diplomat. Montcher uses this man and his 20 years spent in Rome to explore the concept of “Bibliopolitics.” 

“[It is the power to] generate politics through the circulation of books,” Montcher said.

Nogueira’s career also explores the idea of a Republic of Letters, or the interconnected communications between academics that fostered dynamic intellectual collaborations, as he served as a distributor for the texts they desired. Consequently, Montcher would come to rely on his own modern form of a Republic of Letters to get the sources needed for this project, as it spanned across Europe and the Americas. 

Montcher sees this book as having multiple possible audiences. 

“[Those] interested in the history of the Renaissance, the history of politics and diplomacy,” Montcher said. 

The appeal is clear; the later Renaissance represents a period of great change whichMontcher provides a niched approach to. Montcher also explains his attempt to engage in  conversation with other historians on the topic. Professor Montcher’s book will be released later this summer and is available for pre-order now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

(Photo Courtesy of Newberry College)
  • Dr. Melissa Ochoa – Book on Catcalling


The act of public speaking can invoke a range of emotions in people, from fear to full-on panic. Being watched, observed and silently judged can feel excruciating to many. However, Melissa Ochoa, PhD, invites people to imagine a scenario where it is not simply one’s speech that is being judged, but also what they chose to wear and what they look like. To further this scenario, imagine it is not happening in the confines of a classroom, but rather in a random street. This is the case that many women still face, and it is the subject of her research  

“Catcalling is a part of a larger issue of systemic sexism,” Ochoa said. “It is a form of sexual terrorism limiting women’s engagement in public spaces.”

Since this is an issue that is felt by roughly half the population and can only really be stopped by the other half, Ochoa is striving to make this work accessible to all and serve as a conversation starter both within classrooms and also at home. 

Ochoa feels that it is particularly important for the Saint Louis University community to recognize the ongoing issue of catcalling on college campuses. It’s possible to ignore catcalling as an abstract problem, but knowing its presence in this very institution makes it a very pressing issue. Dr.  Ochoa’s work is still early in development and has no definitive release date or title, but should be expected to release in the next few years. 

This has only been a brief collection of work being done at SLU right now. Many professors from all disciplines spend multiple years conducting their research and crafting it into a final product to share with the wider world. This process happens right here at SLU and helps keep the constant conversation alive in the global intellectual community.