This episode features an interview with Dr. Ryan Skinnell, assistant professor at San José State University and editor of the recent collection Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump. That collection is the focal point of the episode.
This interview was recorded at the 2018 Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Because Faking the News is meant to speak to audiences beyond academia, we tried to approach the interview in a way that would be accessible for those who don't have advanced degrees in rhetoric and writing. We discuss what exactly rhetoric and demagoguery are, what sets rhetoric scholars apart from other academic experts, and strategies for maintaining momentum on writing projects. Oh, and pajama pants.
In addition to editing Faking the News, Skinnell is the author of the book Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition's Institutional Fortunes, coeditor of a forthcoming collection called Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies, and an editor for the website Citizen Critics, which brings rhetoric scholarship to bear on the news of the day for a mainstream audience. He’s also currently researching and writing about rhetoric and guns and fascist rhetoric. And last but not least, he’s editing a forthcoming special issue of the journal Rhetoric Society Quarterly entitled “Rhetoric’s Demagogue | Demagoguery’s Rhetoric.”
This episode features a clip of the song "Grifted" by Literature.