Faculty profile

Helen Knowles

Associate Professor
Advisement Coordinator


436 Mahar Hall

Office hours

Monday, 10-11 am and 12:30-1:30 pm
Wednesday, 10-11 am and 12:30-1:30 pm
or by appointment

Dr. Knowles received her Ph.D. from Boston University. She teaches classes in American law and politics, and politics and film. Her research focuses on legal history. She is the author of The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty (2009; 2018 – updated paperback); and the co-editor (with Steven B. Lichtman) of Judging Free Speech: First Amendment Jurisprudence of Supreme Court Justices. She is currently working on four other books, all of which are under contract with publishers, and are scheduled to be published in 2019 and 2020: Making Minimum Wage: Elsie Parrish v. The West Coast Hotel Company (for inclusion in the University of Oklahoma Press's American Constitutional Heritage series); Lights, Camera, Execution! Cinematic Portrayals of Capital Punishment (co-authored with Bruce E. Altschuler and Jaclyn Schildkraut, for inclusion in Lexington Books's Politics, Literature, and Film series); Free Speech Theory: Understanding the Controversies (co-edited with Brandon T. Metroka, for inclusion in Peter Lang's Studies in Law and Politics series); and The Cascadian Hotel (co-authored with Darlene L. Spargo for inclusion in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series). Dr. Knowles has also authored numerous articles, including one that won the Hughes-Gossett award from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Classes taught

  • POL 215 - Law and Courts
  • POL 338 - Politics and Film
  • POL 345 - American Constitutional Law
  • POL 355 - Civil Liberties
  • POL 356 - Freedom of Speech