Heather Ashley Hayes is a scholar, author, and global citizen critic researching, writing, and teaching. She is influenced by training primarily in communication studies and rhetoric with additional background in anthropological fieldwork methods. Her work focuses on the social implications of racialized violence and discourses of terrorism, both domestically and sometimes as part of the global, decades long US-led war on terror both within the United States and abroad. She additionally engages work about circulations of violence and race in public discourse, film, and militarized & carceral spaces throughout the world.
Professor Hayes is currently appointed as an Assistant Professor of the Department of Rhetoric and teaches in the Program in Race and Ethnic Studies. She is also the author of Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars, published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan Press UK. She has published work in the academic journals Argumentation and Advocacy, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and a number of other academic and popular press spaces. Committed to public and global deliberation, she has presented her work across the US, Middle East, and Europe to diverse audiences. She also serves as Terrorism and Middle East desk editor for Citizen Critics (www.citizencritics.org), where she also is a contributor.
With over fifteen years of teaching experience, before joining Whitman College's faculty in 2013, Professor Hayes taught at a large public high school, in refugee facilities, and at all sorts of institutions in between. She specializes in teaching about oral communication, argumentation, intercultural communication, and rhetorics of social justice, race, and violence. At Whitman, she designed and teaches the introductory course in rhetoric and public culture. In addition, she teaches a course in the rhetoric of hip-hop and spoken word that cross-lists with Whitman's Program in Race and Ethnic Studies as well as the Sociology department. She additionally teaches courses in both introductory and advanced rhetorical criticism as well as the rhetoric of social protest, political campaign rhetoric, protest in the Arab world, and African American history and civil rights discourse.