Heather Ashley Hayes’ scholarly work is interested in social implications of rhetorical practice and how humans use symbols to make meaning and address problems of common concern. Her research specifically centers on violence, race, and discourses of terror. She writes about those discourses both domestically within the US and as part of the global terror wars. Her work is particularly interested in the intersection of domestic sociopolitical landscapes with global violence, colonialism, and war. She engages work about histories and circulations of violence as they relate to race, rhetorical practice, and securitization in public discourse, film, and militarized & carceral spaces throughout the world. Her first book, Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars (Palgrave Macmillan), dropped in 2016 and is among a number of other article, review, and chapter length academic pieces she’s published. Her second book, Struggle: Violence, the New Colonialism, and Changing Landscapes of Terror from Ferguson to Raqqa is in final edits with a university press with anticipated publication in late 2021/early 2022. She presents work across the US, Middle East, and Europe to audiences in both academic spaces and outside of the university.
As a teacher, Heather feels privileged in her career to have taught at institutions ranging from small liberal arts colleges in the Pacific Northwest of the US to a large public high school in Texas and many spaces in between, including prisons and refugee camps. She has worked with lots of students at various stages of their educational journeys and has been honored to receive a number of distinctions for that work. In May of 2018, she accepted Whitman College’s George Ball Excellence in Advising Award, a student nominated honor recognizing an educator for outstanding distinction in advising and mentoring students from all areas of the college. She currently facilitates an online-based community education project, The Teach Out, focused on racial justice, rhetorical history, and community change. She was thrilled to join Lewis & Clark’s RHMS department in the fall of 2019. Here she teaches Introduction to Rhetoric and Media Studies, Rhetorical Criticism, Rhetorical Theory, and other courses in rhetoric, media, and social discourse.