I’m an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing and an Assistant Writing Program Administrator in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San José State University. I earned a PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics from Arizona State University in 2011.

Since 2005, I’ve taught rhetoric and writing at four universities to students ranging from pre-baccalaureate to doctoral candidates. In 2014, I taught a faculty research seminar in University of Modern Languages in Islamabad, Pakistan as part of a U.S. State Department Public Diplomacy Program. I’ve also taught faculty seminars at San José State, and in 2021, I co-facilitated a Rhetoric Society of America Summer Seminar, called “Rhetoric in Dark Times.”

My current research focuses on political rhetoric, especially as it relates to authoritarianism, demagoguery, and democracy. I’ve published six books and more than 100 essays, articles, and reviews about rhetoric, politics, and higher education. My first single-authored book, Conceding Composition, was about the history of writing instruction in American colleges and universities, and I am currently writing a book about Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric.

My writing has appeared in both academic and popular outlets. I’ve recently published academic books and essays on fascist rhetoric, fake news, and the rhetoric of guns. My popular writing has appeared in a variety of national and international outlets, including The Washington Post, Salon, and Newsweek. I also regularly appear in local and national media to discuss political rhetoric in the news.

In addition to my teaching, writing, and program administration, I am a founding member of The Write to Vote Project, a 2020-2021 Op-Ed Project Public Voices Fellow, and a Faculty Expert in Political Speech, Politics, and Rhetoric at San José State University. In 2021, the Young Rhetoricians’ Conference named me “Rhetorician of the Year.”


Published by Ryan Skinnell

Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, Department of English & Comparative Literature, San José State University, San Jose, CA