small room with a projector and speakers on the floor

Exploring ‘Disfluency Pride’ across Contexts and Communities

Project team

Dr Melissa Tanti, Coventry University


Cathy Soreny, Art, Design and Media Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
The Stories Beyond Words Collective
Community-based Leadership Circle


January 2024 - October 2025

Project overview

This project is looking at ways to creatively explore marginalised communication styles with communicators who may be considered dysfluent by dominant Western societal norms. Prejudice against marginalised communicators can have the effect of pushing people out from conversations, culture, decision-making and more.

When we say marginalised communicators, this includes:

  • People with non-normative voices relating to disability, neurodiversity, etc.

  • People from D/deaf communities

  • People who speak marginalised and non-dominant languages

Within these communities, activism and scholarship is starting to push back against oppressive societal norms. For example, within the stammering community, dysfluency pride is gathering momentum and demanding changes. Concurrently, Dysfluency Studies is becoming a distinct branch of Disability Studies.

This project grows from Melissa’s scholarship on multilingual writing and translational poetics particularly related to minoritized languages and Cathy Soreny’s film and multimedia work exploring disability justice related to communication impairments (Disfluent Journeys).

Project objectives

In this exciting context, we are currently collaborating with a community-based Leadership Circle to co-create a festival of dysfluency. We have a group of around 12 people from diverse and intersectional communities. We have creators, arts organisers and academics involved. We anticipate that collaborative and communal working will help create, evolve, and consolidate synergies within and across our communities. We intend to shake things up with audiences and challenge normative assumptions around communication and dysfluency.

Impact statement

These activities to co-create a new, participatory, live, arts-based intervention are intended to improve wellbeing for diverse communicators through an increased sense of agency, self-representation, and solidarity, and by shifting values, and creating more understanding for diverse styles and forms of communication.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023