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Joseph Zompetti

School of Communication
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research

Current Courses

303.001Controversy And Contemporary Society

371.001International Political Communication

471.001International Political Communication

498.002Professional Practice In Communication

390.002Topics in Contemporary Communication

321.001Campaign Communication & Message Design

Teaching Interests & Areas

I teach courses in civic engagement, rhetoric, and argumentation. My courses usually involve aspects of rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism, critical theory, cultural studies, civic engagement and social movement theories and magic.

Research Interests & Areas

My research interests include the rhetoric of Sacco & Vanzetti, the rhetoric of Dante, Gramsci, civic engagement, rhetorical theory and criticism, and the rhetoric of magic.

Ph D Communication

Wayne State University
Detroit, MI

MA Communication

Illinois State University
Normal, IL

BA Political Science

Butler University

Fulbright Specialist Grant

World Learning

ISU Internationalization Award for Global Learning


Janice Witherspoon Neuleib Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement in the College of Arts & Sciences


University Teaching Award nominee


Fulbright Specialist Grant


College of Arts & Sciences Dossey Teaching award nominee


University Teaching Award


University Teaching Award


Book Review

Zompetti, J. Book Review: Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and passive revolution in the. Argumentation and Debate 44 (2007): 53-56.
Zompetti, J. Book Review: Talking Democracy: Historical Perspectives on Rhetoric and Democracy. Argumentation and Advocacy 42 (2006): 120-121.
Zompetti, J. Book Review: A Government by the People: Direct Democracy in America, 1890-1940. Rhetoric and Public Affairs 7 (2004): 109-111.
Zompetti, J. Book Review: America's Newcomers and the Dynamics of Diversity. Rhetoric and Public Affairs 7 (2004): 432-434.
Zompetti, J. Book Review: Social Movements, Civil Society, and Radical Adult Education. Controversia: an International Journal of Debate and Democratic Renewal 1 (2002): 117-121.

Book, Authored

Zompetti, J. Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics. Cognella (2015)
Zompetti, J. Essential Readings on Rhetoric. IDEA Press (2013)
Zompetti, J. Reasoned Rationales: Exploring the Educational Value of Debate. International Debate Education Association Press (2011)
Blaney, J., & Zompetti, J. The Rhetoric of Pope John Paul II. Lexington Press (2009)
Zompetti, J. Debating the "Framework.". West Coast Debate Handbook (2004)

Book, Chapter

Zompetti, J. The Rhetoric of Social Control. Nancy S. Lind & Cara E. Rabe-Hemp (EDs), Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy. Emerald Publishing (2019): 11-26.
Zompetti, J., Moore, M., Smudde, P., & Hunt, S. The right to peaceable assembly and social movements: The role of “occupying” space as a way to speak. Nancy S. Lind & Erik T. Rankin (EDs), First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, LLC (2013): 237-256.
Zompetti, J. Persuasive Prestigitation: Exploring the Rhetorical Power of Magical Performance. Phillip Vannini (EDs), Popularizing Research. Peter Lang Publishing (2012)
Zompetti, J., & Williams, D. Debate and the Art of Rhetorical Citizenship. Nadejda Greidina (EDs), Urgent Problems in Communication and Culture – 10. Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University 10 (2010): 122-140.
Zompetti, J. The Rhetoric of Social Justice in Pope John Paul II’s Catechism. Joseph R. Blaney & Joseph P. Zompetti (EDs), The Rhetoric of Pope John Paul II. Lexingon Press (2009): 39-66.

Book, Edited

Zompetti, J. Essential Readings on Argumentation. IDEA Press (2014)

Conference Proceeding

Zompetti, J., & Aonuma, S. Stasis and the Collective National Memory of Statues: The Soldier Statue Controversy in Tallinn, Estonia. Suzuki, Yano, & Kato, eds (EDs), Proceedings of the 3rd Tokyo Conference on Argumentation. Proceedings of the 3rd Tokyo Conference on Argumentation (2008)
Zompetti, J., & Williams, D. The Pedagogy of Civic Engagement: Argumentation. Proceedings of the 3rd Tokyo Conference on Argumentation. Proceedings of the 3rd Tokyo Conference on Argumentation (2008)
Zompetti, J. The Role of Debate Activism for Civil Societies. Alfred Snider (EDs), Frontiers of the 21st Century: Argumentation, Debate and the Struggle for a Civil Society: Proceedings of the 2004 and 2005 International Debate Education Association Conference in Turkey and Estonia. Central European University Press (2008): 157-172.
Zompetti, J. Who Am I? Who Are We? Or, Rhetorical Schizophrenia and the Breakdown of Society. Suzuki, Yano, & Kato, eds (EDs), Proceedings of the 2nd Tokyo Conference on Argumentation. Proceedings of the 2nd Tokyo Conference on Argumentation (2004): 242-245.
Zompetti, J. Revisiting Topoi: Their Use for Contemporary Argumentation and Debate. Suzuki, Yano, & Kato, eds (EDs), Proceedings of the 1st Tokyo Conference on Argumentation. Proceedings of the 1st Tokyo Conference on Argumentation (2000): 188-190.

Journal Article

Thomas, L. J., Zompetti, J. P., & Jannusch, A. (2020). Policy fosters family: Examining discourses of biology and care in foster care-related government texts. Communication Law Review, 20(1).
Bratslavsky, L., Carpenter, N., & Zompetti, J. Twitter, Incivility, and Presidential Communication: A Theoretical Incursion into Spectacle and Power. Cultural Studies (2019)
Zompetti, J., & Bratslavsky, L. A Historical Tracing of (In)Civility in American Presidential Rhetoric. Northwest Journal of Communication (2019)
Zompetti, J. Debate and Critical Thinking as Civic Education: The Case of Myanmar. eJournal of Public Affairs 8.2 (2019)
Zompetti, J., & Kerby, M. Fake It “Till You Make It”: Debunking Fake News in a Post-Truth America. eJournal of Public Affairs 8.1 (2019)

Magazine/Trade Publication

Blaney, J., & Zompetti, J. The great persuader: In teaching and practice, Pope John Paul II. Columbia Magazine (2008): 20-21.
Zompetti, J. Using and Citing Evidence to Construct and Support Arguments. Idebate (a periodical published by the International Debate Education Association) 5.3 (2005): 32-36.
Zompetti, J. Debating the Negative on the YFE 2004 Topic. Idebate (a periodical published by the International Debate Education Association) 4.4 (2004): 60-61.

Material Regarding New Courses/Curricula

Zompetti, J. Embracing Organic Learning: Progressive Measures for the Communication. Published in the ISU University Assessment Office’s Progressive Measures: Special Issue: Diverse and Global Perspectives 3 (2007)

Textbook, Revised

Trapp, R., Zompetti, J., & Montejure, J. Discovering the World Through Debate: A Practical Guide to Educational Debate for Debaters, Judges and Coaches. International Debate Education Association (2005)
Driscoll, W., & Zompetti, J. Discovering the World Through Debate: A Practical Guide to. International Debate Education Association (2003)


Empowering Civic Education and Civic Engagement through Debate Training: Are Pedagogical Practices and Outcomes Culturally Transferable?. 21st NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation. (2019)
Craig, B., Hall, A., Thomas, L., Zompetti, J., & Hopper, K. M. (November, 2019). Embodied realities: Strategies to improve a climate of diversity and respect. Panel presented at the annual Illinois State University Culturally Responsive Campus Community conference, Normal, IL.
Curriculum across the Curriculum: Using Intro-to-Major and Capstone Courses for Curriculum Integration. CTLT Symposium. CTLT. (2014)
21st Century Citizenship Education in a Globalized World. American Democracy Project. AASCU. (2013)
Building Democracy in Myanmar. Mornings With Professors. ISU. (2013)
Civic Engagement Pedagogy: Utilizing the Course Redesign Process. CTLT Symposium. CTLT & ISU. (2013)
Communicative Strategies of Cooperation through Collective Bargaining. Central States Communication Association Convention. Central States Communication Association. (2013)
Fostering Organic, Dialogic Pedagogy. American Democracy Project. AASCU. (2013)
Gramscian Pedagogy: Common Sense and the Possibility of a Radical Democracy. Rethinking Marxism. Rethinking Marxism and the International Gramsci Society. (2013)
Institutional Support, Student Career Prep & Democracy Promotion: Navigating the Minefield. American Democracy Project. AASCU. (2013)

Grants & Contracts

Fulbright. US State Department. Other. (2018)
Fulbright. U.S. State Department. Other. (2015)
Advancing the discipline: Expanding the role of communication in civic and political engagement through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL. Cross Endowed Chair for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Illinois State University. (2008)