Academic Research


Dr. Skinnell is an expert in political rhetoric, especially as it relates to authoritarianism, demagoguery, and democracy. He is also an SJSU faculty media expert in political speech, politics, and rhetoric and a 2020-2021 Op-Ed Project Public Voices Fellow.

Dr. Skinnell has published six books, including Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump (2018) and Rhetoric and Guns (2022). He has also published more than 100 articles, essays, and reviews for academic and non-academic audiences on topics ranging from demagoguery, fascist rhetoric, and contemporary political discourse to American education, bureaucracy, and faculty development. In 2019, he guest edited a special issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric’s Demagogue | Demagoguery’s Rhetoric, which considers the effects of demagogic rhetoric on contemporary world politics. He also regularly gives talks and runs workshops about rhetoric and writing for academic and non-academic audiences.

Click here for my curriculum vitae


Teaching Teaching as a Process: San Jose State University’s TA Program and the Development of Pedagogical Thinking, w/14 co-authors
Threshold Conscripts: Rhetoric and Composition TAships.
WAC Clearinghouse

Trite as It Sounds, Writing for the Public Means Practicing What We Preach
FEN Blog, Composition Studies

Two Truths and a Big Lie: The ‘Honest’ Mendacity of Fascist Rhetoric
Journal for the History of Rhetoric

Rhetoric and Guns
Utah State University Press

“Donald Trump’s (Rhetorical) Gender Gap.” Women’s Research and Resource Center, California State University, Northridge. (Oct. 2018)

Get in touch

Dr. Skinnell is always available for consultation, class visits, and talks. If you want to chat about rhetoric, politics, higher education, or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out.


“Writing After the End of the World.” Conference on College Composition & Communication. Chicago, IL.
February 2023

“Write to Repair” Symposium
Syracuse University
October 2022

The Nazis’ Paideia
Int’l Society for the History of Rhetoric
Nijmegen, Netherlands
August 2022