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This page is a living document of ongoing research.

Current Projects

I’m interested in problems. My work looks at social problems like ableism as well as practical problems, like how to effectively advocate.

My primary research agenda combines communication and disability studies. It’s aimed at increasing disability rights, amplifying disabled perspectives, critiquing stigma, ableism, injustice, and violence, and developing formal theories of communication and disability.

For an overview of my current and future projects focused on doing disability rights activism in/through communication studies, see this talk and presentation.

As a communication theorist with a background in applied linguistics, I’m also interested in mechanisms that drive discourses (like indexicality) and metatheories of communication (see chapter 3).


Visit me at or Research Gate for pdfs.

Hughes, J. M. F. (2018). Progressing positive discourse analysis and/in critical discourse studies: Reconstructing resistance through progressive discourse analysis. The Review of Communication. DOI: 10.1080/15358593.2018.1479880

Hughes, J. M. F. (2017). Disability rights advocacy online: voice, empowerment, and global connectivity (book review), Information, Communication & Society, 20:12, 1773-1776, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1343365.

Hughes, J. M. F. (2016). Increasing neurodiversity in disability and social justice advocacy groups [whitepaper]. Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Hughes, J. M. F. (2016). Constructing a united disability community: The National Council on Disability’s discourse of unity in the deliberative system around disability rights. Journal of Public Deliberation (12)1.

Hughes, J. M. F. & Tracy, K. (2015). Indexicality. In K. Tracy, C. Ilie, & T. Sandel (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction. Boston: John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/9781118611463/wbielsi078,

Boromisza-Habashi, D., Hughes, J. M. F., & Malkowski, J. (2015). Public speaking as optimal form: Internationalizing the public speaking curriculum. Journal of International & Intercultural Communication, 8(4). DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2016.1120847

Sprain, L. & Hughes, J. M. F. (2015). A new perspective on stories in public deliberation: Analyzing small stories in discussions about immigration. Text & Talk, 35, 531-551. DOI 10.1515/text-2015-0013

Tracy, K., & Hughes, J. M. F. (2014). Democracy-Appealing Partisanship: A Situated Ideal of Citizenship. Journal Of Applied Communication Research, 42(3), 307-324. doi:10.1080/00909882.2014.911940

Fridy, J. M. (2012). Languages of global hip hop [Review of the book Languages of global hip hop edited by M. Terkourafi]. Language In Society, 41(3), 408-409. doi:10.1017/S0047404512000371

Conference Presentations

I’m in the process of cataloguing scripts and abstracts for these talks. Check back or email me for links.

Papers Presented


Hashtagging the U.S. healthcare crisis: Death and traumatic affect in #MedicareForAll discourse, International Association for Dialogue Analysis, Milwaukee, July 24-27

Creating communication researchers: Teaching the frame problem using Instagram, Eastern Communication Association conference, Providence, RI Apr. 10-14


Centering Latinx identities in a lesson on identity politics, Two-Year College English Association Northeast conference, Long Island City, NY Oct. 11-13

Digitally mediated affects of autistic meltdown online, in the Capacious Conference: Affect, Inquiry, Making Space, Lancaster, PA Aug. 8-10

Teaching metacognitive skills to facilitate inclusion, League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations Conference, National Harbor, MD, March 18-21


Hughes, J. M. F., Intersectional Neurodiversity: Building Intersectionality in Activism, Scholarship, and Pedagogy, National Communication Association convention, Philadelphia, Nov. 10-13.


“Nothing about us without us:” Including neurodiverse perspectives in autism and disability advocacy (white paper presented in roundtable discussion entitled “Embracing difference research and engaged organizational communication”), National Communication Association convention, Las Vegas, Nov. 19-22

Autistic activism: Fighting for the right to communicate, Society for Disability Studies, Atlanta, June 10-13


Discursive struggle in online neurodiversity advocacy, National Communication Association convention, Chicago, Nov. 19-23


Constructing a united disability community: The National Council of Disability’s discourse of unity in the deliberative system around disability rights, National Communication Association convention, Washington, D.C., Nov. 20-24

Taking a cultural approach to person first language, National Communication Association convention, Washington, D.C., Nov. 20-24

Is pedagogy ableist? Exploring the intersections of disability and communication pedagogy, Rocky Mountain Communication Association conference, Loveland, CO, Apr. 20

War at home and bodies out of time and place: Chronotopes in institutional discourse about PTSD, Western States Communication Association convention, Reno, Feb. 16-19


“I stim, therefore I am.” Autistic self-advocacy on YouTube, National Communication Association convention, Orlando, Nov. 14-18

Appealing to “democracy” as a strategy of ordinary democracy: Hawaii’s public hearing about civil unions, International Communication Association conference, Phoenix, May 24-27


Problems of purpose in university governance meetings: Conflicting ideals and the role of stakeholder voices, National Communication Association convention, New Orleans, Nov. 16-20 (One of four top student papers in Group Communication division)

“Gay marriage” in the same-sex marriage debate: Constructing membership categories in a Hawaii hearing on same-sex civil unions, Conference on Culture, Language, and Social Practice, Boulder, Oct. 7-9

Panels Organized


Inclusive excellence: Harnessing diversity as a driver of learning, League for Innovation in the Community College, National Harbor, MD, Mar. 18-21


Intersectional neurodiversity: Building thicker intersectionality in movement and study, National Communication Association convention, Philadelphia, Nov. 9-12


Autism Advocacy and Communication, Society for Disability Studies conference, Atlanta, June 10-13


Language and Social Interaction in Action, Rocky Mountain Communication Association conference, Loveland, CO, Apr. 16

Conferences Organized


Conference on Culture, Language, and Social Practice, Boulder, Oct. 7-9 (treasurer)


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