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Paul Stob

Professor of Communication Studies
Director of Culture, Advocacy, and Leadership; Director of A&S College Core

PAUL STOB is Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Program in Culture, Advocacy, and Leadership. He is also inaugural Director of the A&S College Core.

His research and teaching focus on the intersection of rhetoric and intellectual culture, with particular emphasis on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in the United States. He is the author of William James & the Art of Popular Statement (Michigan State University Press, 2013) and Intellectual Populism: Democracy, Inquiry, and the People (Michigan State University Press, 2020). He is co-editor (with Angela Ray) of Thinking Together: Lecturing, Learning, and Difference in the Long Nineteenth Century (Penn State University Press, 2018).

Paul’s current book manuscript, which will be published in 2025 by Counterpoint Press, is titled Empire of Skulls: A Story of Phrenology, the Fowlers, and the Secrets of the Human Mind. The book explores the rise of practical phrenology in the United States via the work of one family, the Fowlers, who not only built a cultural empire around the science but made it central to various reform movements.

In addition, Paul is a co-author (with Stephen E. Lucas) of The Art of Public Speaking (McGraw-Hill Higher Education), a popular public-speaking textbook used around the world.