Heather Ashley Hayes

Heather Ashley Hayes is a scholar, author, speaker, and global citizen critic researching, writing, organizing, and teaching. Influenced by training in both rhetorical criticism and anthropological field work methods, her work focuses on the social implications of racialized violence and discourses of terrorism, both domestically and as part of the global, decades long US-led war on terror within the United States and abroad.

Dr. Hayes is Chair and Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Race and Ethnic Studies at Whitman College and author of Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Committed to public and global deliberation, she has presented her work across the US, Middle East, and Europe to diverse audiences, teaches at both a small liberal arts college and inside penitentiaries, and serves as Terrorism and Middle East desk editor for Citizen Critics (www.citizencritics.org), where she also is a contributor.

Photography Credit: Lisa Quinlan Photography

My teaching is an exercise in promoting reflective thought with regard to social problems in the creation of critical publics and encouragement of global citizens. At its center is the re-examining of evidence and assumptions, shaking up habitual ways of thinking, dissipating conventional familiarities, and re-evaluating rules and institutions to promote participation in a global world. In this sense, my philosophy about teaching is to see it as an exercise in the promotion of voice, advocacy, civic engagement, and the enhancement of public life, all from a rhetorical perspective. I believe the task of any classroom or learning space is to challenge students and all interlocuters to become more participative citizens as well as empower them, working together, to not only know their voice, but to use it.

NOTE: Any syllabi not linked here that you wish to explore, please email me and I will happily share them.

Whitman College Courses

Rhetoric, Incarceration, and Civic Engagement (taught "across the walls and bars," desegregated, including students from both Whitman College and Washington State Penitentiary)

Representations of the African American Experience in Film

Senior Seminar in Rhetorical Studies

Introduction to Rhetorical Criticism

Seminar in Rhetoric and Violence

The Rhetoric of African American Civil Rights: From the Courts to the Streets

Rhetoric of Weapons of the State

Rhetoric of Hip Hop

Fundamentals of Public Address

The Rhetoric of the 47%: The Rhetorical Materialism of Socio-Economic Class

Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Culture

Rhetoric and Presidential Campaigns

Previously Taught Courses

Intercultural Communication Processes, University of Minnesota

African American Civil Rights Rhetoric, University of Minnesota - COMM 4616 Reading Schedule 

Argumentation, University of Minnesota

Intro to Intercultural Communication, University of Minnesota

Public Speaking (Election Year Edition), University of Minnesota