Jeff Nagel

High Res Photo


Office Location: Castellaw 139
Office Hours: By appointment (Current students should refer to the syllabus and others may schedule via email)

Educational Background:

  • B.S., Political Science, Wayne State University
  • M.A., Communication, Baylor University
  • Ph.D., Communication Arts, The Pennsylvania State University

View Jeff Nagel's CV


  • CSS 2265 - Contest Speaking
  • CSS 3248 - Advanced Debate
  • CSS 3302 - Introduction to Rhetorical Theory and Criticism

Current Research Interest Areas:

My research focuses on the influences of absence and silence in rhetorical communication, and specifically I analyze how these theories can help us investigate how identity is formed and how social movements operate. These central questions help to animate many different texts, and as a result I have written about the National Football League, 1960s social protest, Baptist missional work, and even 18th President Ulysses S. Grant. You can find my recent work several journals in the field of communication, including Rhetoric Society QuarterlyWomen's Studies in Communication, and Contemporary Argumentation and Debate.

Teaching Philosophy:

The widespread ability to create and evaluate argument in a public exchange undergirds the basis of community and democratic public life. Communication and rhetorical scholars thus teach the nuts and bolts of democratic engagement and citizenship and have an obligation both to empower the voices of students and give them the tools to foster this critical inquiry. Now more than ever, the ethical demands of effective public discourse could not be clearer. This task remains central in my research agenda and my pedagogical approach, informing how I seek to think and interact with the world as a teacher and a scholar. I also recognize that engagement in dialogue is itself a perceptually dangerous act. Engaging with another’s ideas opens oneself to the possibility of being wrong and allows the assumptions that undergird their identity to be contingent and precarious. Students are not docile learning receptacles, but intellectual equals who actively engage in complex ideas and are still transforming into the citizens that they will eventually become. It is a pedagogical goal to train that critical skill of analytical inquiry, to give a language to their understandings of morality, and present a platform for honing their desire to make the world safer and more equitable. Teachers are democracy builders, citizen creators, and deliberation enablers. We give students the tools to express themselves and form communities through personal advocacy, building a better world together.

Family, Outside Hobbies, and Interests:

When I'm not teaching or coaching Baylor's debate team, you can find me enjoying Waco with my wife Kelly. We love supporting the local farmer's market, arts and live music, Cameron Park Zoo, and our church. At home, we enjoy gardening, watching sports of all kinds, and napping with our cat Frankie.

What is the best thing about being a Baylor Bear?

After completing my master's degree at Baylor, I am so excited to return to the Department of Communication. Baylor was foundational to who I now am as a teacher and scholar, and I have maintained many good friendships with teachers, peers, and students in our Communication community. I look forward to keeping that spirit of comradery and compassion alive.


Department of Communication

One Bear Place #97368
Waco,TX 76798-7368