I am an Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Composition in the Department of English at San José State University, where I teach writing and rhetoric courses at all levels. As an Assistant Writing Program Administrator, I administer teaching associate hiring and training, program development and assessment, and faculty development.

My research focuses on political rhetoric and public discourse, especially as it relates to authoritarianism, demagoguery, and extremism. I have related interests in histories of rhetoric and composition, institutional rhetorics, bureaucracy, historiography, and archival theories & methods.

I have written, edited, or co-edited six books, including Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes (2016) and Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump (2018). My scholarship also appears in numerous academic journals, book collections, and popular press outlets.


Ph.D. in English, Arizona State University, 2011

Concentration: Rhetoric, Composition, & Linguistics


M.A. in English (w/ distinction), California State University, Northridge, 2007

Concentration: Rhetoric & Composition Theory


B.A. in English, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2001

Minor: History


Other Publications

Please visit my website for publication information: Curriculum Vitae | Public Scholarship

Blog Posts


    Monograph in progress: Hitler’s Rhetoric

    Ryan Skinnell

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