Allen Schwab's interest and expertise are in exploring how our literature, music, visual art, history, political science, history of science, and of religion and philosophy reveal qualities of the American character.
He teaches a two semester graduate course sequence, Studies in American Cultural Identity: Beginnings to The Civil War and The Civil War to The Jazz Age. The courses investigate how struggles for religious, racial, and gender rights, American violence, our polarities of innocence and experience, of individual and group welfare, freedom and conformity, and complex expressions of The American Dream and its dreamers influenced our artists. The courses examine how social and political developments of the times helped form and shape multidisciplinary expressions of nationalist American art.
He has served as a Professor of English, Department Chair, Dean, and Academic Vice President for twenty-eight years, following undergraduate and graduate study in two creative writing programs and having served as engineering, health care, and liberal arts college deans. He has offered over one hundred illustrated Pre-Concert Lectures for the Saint Louis, Peoria (IL), Illinois, and University of Illinois Symphony Orchestras, publishing descriptive analyses of more than one hundred twenty works of the symphonic repertoire.
He has received the national Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for Education, given by The Lovejoy Society to the American educator whose actions best reflect the ideals of Lovejoy's commitment to free speech.