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, cartography, and discourse. 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 research is at the forefront of rhetorical theory, particularly the concept of rhetorical cartography, developed to think about critical/cultural and transdisciplinary methodologies. Her first book, Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars (Palgrave Macmillan), dropped in 2016. It’s among several articles, review, and chapter length academic pieces she’s published. 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 our disciplinary boundaries.” Her second book, Struggle: Violence, the New Colonialism, and Remade Terror from Rikers to Raqqa is anticipated in 2022. She presents work across the US, the 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 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 distinction in advising & mentoring students from all areas of the college. She also founded and currently curates a public community education project, The Teach Out, focused on racial justice, rhetorical history, and community change. She was excited to join Lewis & Clark’s RHMS department in the fall of 2019. She teaches Introduction to Rhetoric and Media Studies, Rhetorical Criticism, Rhetorical Theory, Interpersonal Media, and other courses in rhetoric, media, and social discourse.