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Mike Milford

Mike Milford


Associate Director of Communication

Communication & Journalism

Mike Milford

Contact Me


229 Tichenor Hall

Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday 1-2:30 pm

In the news


PhD, University of Kansas

MA, Abilene Christian University

B.A., Hardin-Simmons University

About Me

Mike Milford (Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2005) is a professor in the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University. He studies ideological and political rhetoric in sports  popular culture, and public address. Dr. Milford’s research has appeared in journals such as Rhetoric & Public AffairsMass Communication and SocietyRhetoricaSport in HistoryWestern Journal of CommunicationSouthern Communication JournalCommunication QuarterlyCommunication StudiesJournal of Sports MediaSport in Society, and the International Journal of Sport Communication. He earned his Ph.D. in rhetorical theory and criticism at the University of Kansas. He also has an M.A. in communication from Abilene Christian University and a B.A. in communication from Hardin-Simmons University.

Research Interests

studies ideological and political rhetoric in sports, popular culture, and public address


  • Milford, M., (2023). The Alphafly Outcry: Mechanical Doping and Stigma in Distance Running, Communication & Sport,
  • Milford, M., (2023). The Biggest Losers: Failure, Legacy, and Exigence in Presidential Farewell Addresses, under revision at Presidential Studies Quarterly, 53, 436-439.
  • Milford, M., (2023), Liberty as a Cloak for Vice: Moral Tensions in the Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Scandal, Communication Studies, 74, 499-514..
  • Milford, M., & Hendrickson, T. J. (2022). Bannister in parliament: Sport, synecdoche, and national identity. Sport in History, 43(2), 195-209.
  • Milford, M. (2022). Fans not Customers! Kategoria in the Rise and Demise of the European Super League. Communication & Sport, 11, 993-1010..
  • Milford, M. (2021). Trump’s Impeachment: Cheap Grace and the Comic Frame. Southern Communication Journal, 86, no. 4, 296-308.
  • Milford, M., & Smith, L. (2020). Communication and Contradiction in the NCAA: Assessing the Unlevel Playing Field of Intercollegiate Athletics. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. 
  • Milford, M. (2019). Full Contact: Sexual Assault, Combat Sports, and the Myth of Self-Defense. Communication & Sport, 9 3, 418-437. 
  • Milford, M. (2018). Rhetorical Emancipation: Apologia and Transcendence on Death Row. Western Journal of Communication, 83, no. 3, 326-344. 
  • Milford, M. (2018). The “Reel” Jesse Owens: Visual Rhetoric and the Berlin Olympics. Sport in History, 38, no. 1, 96-117.
  • Milford, M. (2017). Veiled Intervention: Anti-Semitism, Allegory, and Captain America. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 20, no. 4, 605-634.
  • Milford, M. (2016). National Identity, Crisis, and the Inaugural Genre: George W. Bush and 9/11. Southern Journal of Communication81, 18-31.
  • Milford, M. (2015). Kenneth Burke's Punitive Priests and the Redeeming Prophets: The NCAA, the College Sports Media, and the University of Miami Scandal. Communication Studies66, 45-62.
  • Milford, M. (2012). The Olympics, Jesse Owens, Burke, and the Implications of Media Framing in Symbolic Boasting. Mass Communication and Society15, 1-21.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 2010: Message Preparation and Analysis
  • COMM 3600: Foundations of Rhetoric and Social Influence
  • CMJN 3650: Rhetoric of Sports
  • COMM 3700: Argumentation
  • COMM 4100: Communication Strategies of Social Movements
  • COMM 4970: Rhetoric of War
  • COMM 5600: Political Communication
  • COMM 7010: Historical, Descriptive and Critical Research Methods
  • COMM 7230: Rhetorical Criticism
  • COMM 7410: Development of Rhetorical Theory