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 histories of rhetoric and composition, particularly in American higher education. I have related interests in the history of American education, institutional rhetorics, bureaucracy, historiography, and archival theories & methods.

I have written, edited, or co-edited five 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


Books (Scholarly Monographs)
Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2016. ix-xiv + 188 pages.
·      Reviewed by: Annie S. Mendenhall, Rhetoric Review 36.3 (2017): 246-9.
·      Reviewed by: Melissa Nicolas, Across the Disciplines 14.2 (2017). https://wac.colostate.edu/atd/reviews/skinnell2017.cfm.
·      Reviewed by: Andrew Hollinger, Enculturation 25 (2018). http://enculturation.net/review-of-conceding-composition.

Books (Scholarly Collections)
Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric & Writing Studies. Co-edited with Andrea Alden, Kendall Gerdes, & Judy Holiday. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2019. https://upcolorado.com/utah-state-university-press/item/3720-reinventing-with-theory-in-rhetoric-and-writing-studies
Bureaucracy: A Love Story. Co-edited with Gabriel Cervantes, Dahlia Porter, & Kelly Wisecup. Denton, TX: Aquiline Books, 2018. http://www.library.unt.edu/aquiline-books/bureaucracy-031-1.
What We Wish We’d Known: Negotiating Graduate School. Co-edited with Judy Holiday & Christine Vassett. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2015.

Books (Trade/General Audience) 
Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump. Ed. Ryan Skinnell. Exeter, UK: Societas, 2018. http://www.trumpsrhetoric.com.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
“Enlisting Composition: How First-Year Composition Helped Reorient Higher Education in the GI Bill Era.” Journal of Veterans Studies 2.1 (2017): 79-84. https://journals.colostate.edu/jvs/article/view/70.
“Who Cares if Rhetoricians Landed on the Moon? Or, a Plea for Reviving the Politics of Historiography.” Rhetoric Review 34.2 (2015): 111-28. Winner of the 2015 Theresa J. Enos Anniversary Award for the best essay published in Rhetoric Review.
“Harvard, Again: Considering Articulation & Accreditation in Rhetoric & Composition’s History.” Rhetoric Review 33.2 (2014): 95-112.
“Strengthening Graduate Student Preparation for WPA Work.” Co-authored with Cristyn L. Elder & Megan Schoen. WPA: Writing Program Administration 37.2 (2014): 13-35.
“Institutionalizing Normal: Rethinking Composition’s Precedence in Normal Schools.” Composition Studies 41.1 (2013): 10-26.
“A Problem of Publics & the Curious Case at Texas.” JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, & Politics 30.1/2 (2010): 143-73.
“Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 1854 ‘Address to the Legislature of New York’ & the Paradox of Social Reform Rhetoric.” Rhetoric Review 29.2 (2010): 129-44.
“Circuitry in Motion: Rhetoric(al) Moves in YouTube’s Archive.” Video & Participatory Culture. Spec. issue of Enculturation 8 (2010). http://enculturation.net/circuitry-in-motion.

Book Chapters (Refereed)
“Toward a Working Theory of Institutional Rhetorics.” Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric & Writing Studies. Ed. Andrea Alden, Kendall Gerdes, Judy Holiday, & Ryan Skinnell. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, forthcoming 2019.
“Coming to Terms with the Inevitability of Epic Failure, or Once More into the Breech.” Accepted for the collection Explanation Points: Publishing in Rhetoric & Composition. Ed. John Gallagher & Dànielle Nicole DeVoss. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, forthcoming.
“Reconciling Texas; or Inventing (a) Place Out of Place.” Inventing Place: Writing Lone Star Rhetorics. Ed. Casey Boyle & Jenny Rice. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2018: 139-49.
“Setting Out for Serendip: Of Research Quests & Chance Discoveries.” Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, & Literacy Research. Ed. Maureen Daly Goggin & Peter Goggin. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2018: 117-28.
“What Are We Doing & 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, & Eric Detweiler. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press & Intermezzo, 2018. http://www.parlorpress.com/rhetorics_change.
“Developing a Professional Profile.” What We Wish We’d Known: Negotiating Graduate School. Ed. Ryan Skinnell, Judy Holiday, & Christine Vassett. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2015: 203-8.
“Considering the Impact of the WPA Outcomes Statement on Second Language Writers.” Co-authored with Paul Kei Matsuda. The WPA Outcomes Statement: A Decade Later. Ed. Nicholas Behm, et. al. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, 2013: 230-41. Collection awarded the 2015 Best Book Award by the Council of Writing Program Administrators.
“The Literature of Trauma: Reading the Sorrow of Love in Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War.Thirty Years After: New Essays on Vietnam War Literature, Film, & Other Arts. Ed. Mark Heberle. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2009: 256-64.

Exhibits Curated
“Bureaucracy: A Love Story.” Co-Curated with Gabriel Cervantes, Dahlia Porter, & Kelly Wisecup. UNT Rare Books & Archives, January 15-May 20, 2015. Online exhibit: https://exhibits.library.unt.edu/bureaucracy-love-story.
Public Scholarship & Interviews 
“What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump.” The Academic Minute. AAC&U & WAMC Northeast Public Radio. 23 May 2018. https://academicminute.org/2018/05/ryan-skinnell-san-jose-state-university-what-rhetoric-can-teach-us-about-donald-trump/.
“Donald Trump and the Rhetoric of Honest Lying.” Citizen Critics, 01 May 2018. https://citizencritics.org/2018/05/donald-trump-and-the-rhetoric-of-honest-lying/.
“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. Ed. Ryan Skinnell. Exeter, UK: Societas, 2018: 76-94.
“The Timeless Wisdom of a Plagiarized Convention Speech.” The University Press of Colorado Blog. University Press of Colorado. 25 Oct. 2016.
“Why It Is Worth Reconsidering the Commonsense about Bureaucracy.” The University Press of Colorado Blog. University Press of Colorado. 08 Jun. 2016.
“Why Donald Trump’s Promises of Disaster Might Be Part of His Appeal.” Ten Miles Square. The Washington Monthly. 31 Mar. 2016.

In the Media
Quoted in, “Dictionary.com: Noun. Oakland Company, Master of Trolling Trump et al.,” by Levi Sumagaysay. San Jose Mercury-News, Jul. 4, 2018. https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/04/dictionary-com-noun-oakland-company-master-of-trolling-trump-et-al/.
Interview, “SJSU Prof Takes on Trump in ‘Faking the News,’” by Wallace Baine. Silicon Valley Metro, May 23, 2018, p. 31. http://www.metroactive.com/arts/Faking-the-News-SJSU-Academics.html
Essays/Interviews/Invited Contributions (non-refereed)
“Exigencies for RSQ: An Afterword.” Co-authored with Maureen Daly Goggin. Fifty Years of Rhetoric Society Quarterly: Selected Readings, 1968-2018. Ed. Joshua Gunn & Diane D. Davis. London: Routledge, 2018: 343-56.
“Research :: Culture :: Exchange: Complex Cultural Exchange Amid a US-Pakistani Education Partnership.” Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies 6 (2018). http://pakistaniaat.org/index.php/pak/article/view/378.
“Forty Years & More: Reminiscences with Sharon Crowley.” Interview conducted with Judy Holiday, Andrea Alden, & Kendall Gerdes. Composition Forum 37 (2017). http://compositionforum.com/issue/37/sharon-crowley-interview.php.
“Making Spaces for Diverse Writing Practice” w/ Cindy Baer. Literacy & NCTE: Official Blog of the National Council of Teachers of English, 2016. blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2016/12/2017-western-regional-summer-conference-college-composition-communication/.
“Why Studying Writing Matters.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Sciences & Humanities: Emerging Interdisciplinary Trends in Social Sciences & Humanities, Oct. 20, 2015. National University of Modern Languages-Islamabad (2016): 130-4.
“Afterword: On the Market.” What We Wish We’d Known: Negotiating Graduate School. Ed. Skinnell, Holiday, & Vassett. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead (2015): 217-24.
“Connections of a First-Year Teacher.” Journal for the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning 12 (Winter 2006-2007): 84-5.
Book Reviews
“Review of Patricia Roberts-Miller’s Demagoguery and Democracy.” H-Rhetor, H-Net Reviews (2018). http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=52428.
“Review of Kelly Bradbury’s Reimagining Popular Notions of American Intellectualism.” Composition Forum 37 (2017). http://compositionforum.com/issue/37/skinnell-bradbury-review.php.
“Review of Victor J. Vitanza’s Chaste Cinematics.” Co-authored with Geoffrey V. Carter. Enculturation 23 (2017). http://enculturation.net/chaste_cinematics.
“Review of Lori Ostergaard & Henrietta Rix Wood’s In the Archives of Composition: Writing & Rhetoric in High Schools & Normal Schools.” Rhetoric Review 35.3 (2016): 270-2.
“Review of Victor J. Vitanza’s Sexual Violence in Western Thought & Writing: Chaste Rape.” Enculturation 21 (2016). http://enculturation.net/chaste-rape.
“Review of Henze, Selzer, & Sharer’s 1977: A Cultural Moment in Composition.” Co-authored with Maureen Daly Goggin. Rhetoric Review 28.2 (2009): 215-8.
“Review of Paul Butler’s Out of Style: Reanimating Stylistic Study in Composition & Rhetoric.” Co-authored with Duane Roen. Rhetoric Review 28.2 (2009): 205-7.

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