Jessica Robles, University of Washington

I am a currently a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington and will be starting a new position at Loughborough University in the fall. I received my PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since graduating I taught for a couple years at the University of New Hampshire before coming to Seattle.


  • What LSI pieces of writing have inspirational to you as a researcher?

I have been inspired by work that I don’t necessarily cite much (e.g., Michel Foucault, Kenneth Burke) as well as work that is foundational to a lot of my thinking (e.g., Mikhail Bakhtin, Harvey Sacks, Erving Goffman). The first chapter of Goffman’s “Frame Analysis” is still one of my favorite things to read. When it comes to contemporary LSI research, Bob Craig’s 1999 “communication theory as a field” paper blew me away—I still have my printed-out charts comparing theoretical traditions, which I keep on the wall in my office—and Karen Tracy’s 2008 “reasonable hostility” article was, for me, the perfect model for how to do work that is empirical, theoretical, and practical. As a graduate student I printed a tiny booklet version of the piece, which I used to carry around in my purse.


  • What research questions you are currently exploring?

My interest in how morality is interactionally (and multi-modally) constructed continues to inform all of my research, from the micro-level of how interlocutors make themselves intelligible and negotiate accountability, to the moral work of disagreement, conflict, and trouble in practices such as gossip, stories, categorization, assessment, and quotation. My theorization of the relationship of morality to difference in my dissertation has led me toward considering identity and cultural differences in ways I scarcely anticipated. For example, my most recent publication examined responses to racist comments in ordinary conversation, and one paper I’m working on at the moment deals with resistances to gender categorization.