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Faculty | Paul Stob


Office: Buttrick 138
Phone: 615-322-2988

Office Hours

Curriculum Vitae

PAUL STOB is Professor of Communication Studies and Chair of the Program in American Studies. He is also affiliated faculty in the Communication of Science and Technology Program.

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).

In addition, Paul is a contributing author (with Stephen E. Lucas) to The Art of Public Speaking (McGraw-Hill Higher Education), now in its thirteenth edition.


Ph.D., Communication Arts (Rhetoric), University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2009

M.A., Communication (Rhetoric), Texas A&M University, 2004

B.A., Communication Arts & Sciences (Film Studies) and Philosophy, Calvin College, 2002

Typical Courses

Introduction to Communication Studies
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Rhetoric of the American Experience, 1865-1945
The Rhetoric of Social Movements
The Rhetoric of U.S. Religion

Representative Essays

“Black Hands Push Back: Reconsidering the Rhetoric of Booker T. Washington,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 104, no. 2 (2018): 145–165.

“Jeannette Rankin’s Democratic Errand to Washington,” Advances in the History of Rhetoric 20, no. 1 (2017): 86–98.

“Science, Religion, and the Rhetoric of Revelation: The Case of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship,” Journal of Communication & Religion 39, no. 1 (2016): 46–64.

“Sacred Symbols, Public Memory, and the Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll Remembers the Civil War,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 19, no. 2 (2016): 275–306.

“The Rhetoric of Individualism and the Creation of Community: A View from William James’s ‘The Will to Believe,’” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 44, no. 1 (2014): 25–45.