Cecilia Ford

Center for Women's Health Research
700 Regent Street, Suite 301
Madison, WI 53715-2634
(608) 263-9770


M.A. Linguistics, California State University, Northridge.
Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests

Dr. Ford holds a joint appointment in English (Nancy Hoefs Professorship) and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research is on language as an interactional phenomenon and the ways humans construct, on a moment-by-moment basis, the social orders that make up our lives—including the provisional and emergent practices we call language. Throughout her career, she has been particularly fascinated by action within and between turns at talk and how humans collaborate and improvise in social interaction, using contingent practices including lexico-syntax, sound production, and physical orientations (gesture, gaze, body position). As a member of the University of Wisconsin Center for Women’s Health Research, Ford is PI on a National Institutes of Health-funded study of interaction in peer review meetings, investigating interactional structuring in such meetings. In other research, integrated with her on-going training in Compassionate Communication, Ford is analyzing moments in interaction when people share displays of strong affiliation and empathy.