Brian McGee is Professor of Communication and Faculty Associate in Women's and Gender Studies. He currently serves as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the President.
A native of Indiana, Dr. McGee earned his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University and his bachelor's and master’s degrees at Southern Illinois University. While an undergraduate at Southern Illinois, he was the captain of two national championship debate teams.
Dr. McGee has been a communication faculty member at the College of Charleston, Northeast Louisiana University, Spalding University (KY), and Texas Tech University. He served as Chair of the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston from 2004-2010 and Chair of the School of Communication at Spalding University from 2001-2004.
Dr. McGee’s courses at the College of Charleston and elsewhere have focused on such topics as political communication, advertising, American public address, leadership, argumentation and debate, gender and communication, and public speaking. While at Texas Tech Dr. McGee was named his department’s outstanding graduate professor by the department’s graduate students.
Dr. McGee’s primary research focuses on rhetoric and race, and he also has research interests in political communication, argumentation, communication ethics, and communication administration. He has published over 25 scholarly articles and book chapters, with his work appearing in such journals as Argumentation and Advocacy, the Western Journal of Communication, Southern Communication Journal, and Women's Studies in Communication. He has had top conference papers in the Mass Communication Division of Southern States Communication Association and the Argumentation and Forensics Division of the National Communication Association. Dr. McGee also has served on the editorial boards of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate and the International Journal of Forensics and is a former editor of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate.
Dr. McGee's spouse, Deborah Socha McGee, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Director of the College of Charleston Speaking Lab.
Fun Fact: On two occasions, Dr. McGee sang the national anthem at a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game. The RiverDogs, a Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, held open auditions for vocalists. "My children wanted me to try out," said McGee.
Sample Research Project: With Deborah Socha McGee, Dr. McGee's book chapter, "Ten Senses of Rhetorical Inadequacy: An Examination of Inadequacy in Epideictic Oratory," appears in Crises in Political Oratory: A History of Rhetorical Inadequacy, edited by Todd Frobish. In their chapter, McGee and Socha McGee describe different ways in which a speech might be described as inadequate, as when a speech displays a lack of artistry, or insufficient respect for the occasion at which the speech is delivered. "While many scholars have studied great speeches, we wanted to help explain why most speeches are mediocre or worse," said McGee and Socha McGee. "By examining speakers ranging from Edmund Burke to Jimmy Carter, Chris Hedges to George W. Bush, we hoped to learn more about what makes bad speeches, well, bad."
Ph.D., Ohio State University
B.S. and M.S., Southern Illinois University
- Rhetoric and race
- Political communication
- Communication ethics
- Communication administration
Honors and Awards
- Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the President