Writing & Research

Research Interests

My current research investigates public discourse in contemporary American politics, especially as it relates to authoritarian, demagogic, and extremist rhetoric. I also write about bureaucracy, institutional rhetoric, histories of rhetoric and writing (particularly in higher education), and historiography and archives.

Current Projects

Editor, special issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly: “Rhetoric’s Demagogue | Demagoguery’s Rhetoric”

This special issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly collects essays from rhetorical scholars about rhetoric and demagoguery. This issue is due to be published in 2019.

Co-editor (with Lydia Wilkes and Nathan Kreuter), essay collection: Rhetoric and Guns

Rhetoric and Guns explores rhetoric in the contexts of gun violence, legislation, culture, media, history, and education. Guns and gun violence occupy a unique rhetorical space in the 21st century United States, one characterized by silent majorities (such as most gun owners), vocal minorities (such as the firearm industry and lobby), and a stalemate that fails to stem the tide of the dead.


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Recent Publications


“Reconciling Texas; or Inventing (a) Place Out of Place.” Inventing Place: Writing Lone Star Rhetorics. Ed. Jenny Rice and Casey Boyle. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP (2018): 139-49.

“Setting Out for Serendip: Of Research Quests and Chance Discoveries.” Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research. Ed. Maureen Daly Goggin and Peter Goggin. Logan, UT: Utah State UP (2018): 117-28.

“What Are We Doing and Why Are We Doing It?: A Brief Survey of Shared Exigencies in Contemporary Histories of Rhetoric.” Rhetorics Change/Rhetoric’s Change. Ed. Jenny Rice, Chelsea Graham, and Eric Detweiler. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press and Intermezzo (2018).


Effectiveness, Backlash, and Collateral Damage in #MeToo’s Media Campaign.” Media Ethics 30.1, 11. Dec. 2018.

The Rhetoric of ‘Outside Agitators’ Has a Troubling Past We Can’t Ignore.” Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 2 Dec. 2018.

Why is Trump Covering Up Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder?” Daily Doublespeak, 23 Oct. 2018.

The Rhetoric of Trump’s Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy.” Citizen Critics, 23 Oct. 2018.

Is Brett Kavanaugh a ‘Good Man’? Does It Matter?Daily Doublespeak, 25 Sept. 2018.

“What Passes for Truth in the Trump Era: Telling It Like It Isn’t.” Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump. Societas Press (2018): 76-94.

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Recent Media

“¿Por Qué AMLO (Todavía) Puede Decir Lo Que Quiera Sin Pagar el Costo?,” Letras Libras, 9/20/2018

Dictionary.com: Noun. Oakland Company, Master of Trolling Trump et al.,” San Jose Mercury-News, 7/4/2018

SJSU Prof Takes on Trump in ‘Faking the News’,” Silicon Valley Metro, 5/23/2018

Faking the News,” ASU Now, Arizona State University, 5/2018