Stephen M. Underhill is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Marshall University. His interest in rhetoric is grounded in the interplay of history and politics, especially as it is recorded in primary source documents. More to the point, he is interested in studying institutionalized power in critical and cultural contexts, which directs his focus to matters of law enforcement and national security discourse. Stephen is interested in how law enforcement speaks to and about its different publics to preserve and defend power structures. He is published in Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Western Journal of Communication. His book at Michigan State University Press, J. Edgar Hoover and the Rhetorical Rise of the FBI, is a formative project that coupled his interests in rhetoric and archival research. He was lead reference person for declassified FBI and DOJ requests at the National Archives at College Park (2008-12).
"President Donald Trump’s executive order and the stalled bills in Congress to curb police misconduct are, at best, attempts to retune an instrument that was orchestrated for abuse," says guest columnist Stephen Underhill.