Heather Ashley Hayes

Heather Ashley Hayes

Visiting Assistant Professor

Heather Ashley Hayes is interested in social implications of rhetorical practice and how humans use symbols to make meaning and address problems of common concern. Her research centers on violence, race, cartography, and discourse. Her work is particularly interested in the intersection of domestic sociopolitical landscapes with global violence, colonialism, and discourse. She additionally engages work about neuroscience, learning, and social change. Her research is at the forefront of rhetorical theory, particularly the concept of rhetorical cartography, developed to think about critical/cultural and transdisciplinary methodologies. Rhetoric Society Quarterly regards her work as “incredibly important, not just as an analysis of our post-9/11 world, but as a remapping of rhetoric’s disciplinary boundaries.” Heather has 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 joined the RHMS department in fall of 2019 and is also affiliated with the minor in Middle East and North African Studies.

Academic Credentials

PhD, Communication Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

MA, Communication Studies, Texas State University

MA graduate certificate, Neuroscience, Harvard University

BA, Political Science & Speech Communication, Trinity University


  • RHMS 100: Introduction to Rhetoric and Media Studies
  • RHMS 203: Rhetorical Theory
  • RHMS 210: Public Discourse
  • RHMS 270: Interpersonal Media
  • RHMS 301: Rhetorical Criticism
  • RHMS 468: Violence, Resistance, and the Global Terror Society


  • Hayes, Heather Ashley. “Mapping Inter/National Terrain: On Violence, Definitional Work, and Struggle from Afghanistan to Standing Rock.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 25, no. 3 (2022): pages TBA.
  • Hayes, Heather Ashley. “Doing Rhetorical Studies In Situ: The Nomad Citizen in Jordan,” Advances in the History of Rhetoric (Kathleen Lamp, guest editor; special issue: Rhetoric In Situ) 20, no. 2 (2017): 164-176.
  • Hayes, Heather Ashley. Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars. Rhetoric, Politics, and Society series - A. Finlayson, J. Martin, and K. Phillips, series editors (London: Palgrave Macmillan Books, 2016). ISBN: 978-1-137-48098-9 [paperback edition set for 2023 re-release with new preface]

Professional Experience

  • Founder & Director, The Teach Out Public Education Nonprofit
  • Speaker & Mentor, Inclusion & Accessibility in Higher Education, SXSW EDU 2022, Austin Texas
  • Headline Interviewee, “Did Trump’s Words Lead to the Capitol Riot?” Vice News Tonight, February 9, 2021
  • Select Invited & Featured Speaker Appearances: Center for Strategic Studies, Amman, Jordan; University of Washington Medical Center; Brooklyn College’s College Now program
  • Ad Hoc Academic Journal Reviewer: Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Argumentation and Advocacy
  • Guest, KRTU 91.7 FM radio, “Changing Rural Communities, Inclusive Educational Access, and Penitentiary Life,” April 25 & 27 2017
  • Book Review Editor, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, 2015-2018
  • Member, Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education, Collective, 2014 to present
  • Professional Memberships: National Communication Association, Rhetoric Society of America, American Society for the History of Rhetoric, Western States Communication Association, Middle East Studies Association, Society for Neuroscience, SXSW