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Professor of Communication, Missouri State University

Brian L. Ott (Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University) is a scholar and public intellectual who has been studying rhetoric, media, and their intersection for more than 20 years. He has authored numerous books and essays on the changing nature of communication in the digital era, and he has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, The Atlantic, and Politico among others. His op-eds have appeared in outlets such as USA Today, Newsweek, Salon, Business Insider, and The Hill. Brian is former Department Head of Communication at Missouri State University, former Director of Texas Tech University Press, former Editor-in-Chief of the Western Journal of Communication, and a former President of the Western States Communication Association.


  • 2022–present
    Professor, Missouri State University
  • 2020–2022
    Head of Department, Missouri State University
  • 2018–2020
    Director of TTU Press, Texas Tech University
  • 2015–2018
    Chair of Department, Texas Tech University


  • 1997 
    The Pennsylvania State University, PhD
  • 1993 
    The Pennsylvania State University, MA
  • 1991 
    George Mason University, BA


  • 2021
    Twittering away our deliberative capacity: Social media and the threat to democracy, Research Outreach, 124, 50-53.
  • 2020
    The Twitter presidency: How Donald Trump’s tweets undermine democracy and threaten us all, Political Science Quarterly, 135(4): 607-636.
  • 2020
    Critical media studies: An introduction (3rd ed.), Wiley Blackwell
  • 2019
    Redefining rhetoric: Why matter matters, Berlin Journal of Critical Theory, 3(1), 45-81.
  • 2019
    The Twitter presidency: Donald J. Trump and the politics of white rage, Routledge
  • 2017
    Affect in critical studies, In J. F. Nussbaum (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopedia of communication.
  • 2017
    The age of Twitter: Donald J. Trump and the politics of debasement, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 34(1), 59-68.
  • 2013
    The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism, Routledge
  • 2011
    Ways of (not) seeing guns: Presence and absence at the Cody Firearms Museum, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 8(3), 215-239.
  • 2010
    The visceral politics of V for Vendetta: On political affect in cinema, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 27(1), 32-47.
  • 2010
    Places of public memory: The rhetoric of museums and memorials, U of Alabama Press
  • 2008
    It’s not TV: Watching HBO in the post-television era, Routledge
  • 2007
    The small screen: How television equips us to live in the Information Age, Wiley Blackwell
  • 2006
    Spaces of remembering and forgetting: The reverent eye/I at the Plains Indian Museum, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 3(1), 27-47.
  • 2005
    Memory and myth at the Buffalo Bill Museum, Western Journal of Communication, 69(2), 85-108.

Professional Memberships

  • National Communication Association
  • Rhetoric Society of America
  • Western States Communication Association


Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, National Communication Association, 2012.