Heather Ashley Hayes

I am a scholar, writer, and educator of over seventeen years. I’m interested in social implications of rhetorical practice and how humans use symbols to make meaning and address problems of common concern. My research centers on violence and discourses of terror. I write about those discourses both domestically within the US and as part of the global terror wars. I am particularly interested in the intersection of domestic sociopolitical landscapes with dynamics of global violence and war, both of which are remade through discourses of terrorism. I additionally engage work about histories and circulations of violence as they relate to race, rhetorical practice, and national security in public discourse, film, and militarized & carceral spaces throughout the world.

I am currently appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and teach in both the Programs in Race and Ethnic Studies and Film and Media Studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, USA. My first book, Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars (Palgrave Macmillan) dropped in 2016, joining a number of other article, review, and chapter length academic pieces I’ve published. I present work across the US, Middle East, and Europe to audiences in both academic spaces and outside of the university. I also serve as an Associate Editor in Chief for the public analysis space Citizen Critics, where I publish work from time to time.

I have been privileged in my career to teach at institutions ranging from a small liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest of the US to a large public high school in Texas and many spaces in between. I have worked with lots of students at various stages of their educational journey and I’m honored to have received a number of distinctions for that work. Most recently in May of 2018, I 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.

I’m moved by poetic aesthetics, especially in the form of the spoken word, sometimes set to beats. I’m a cinephile. I pen the occasional film or television review and read many. I am a pasta enthusiast. I hold an unyielding bias in favor of unfettered access to education for all in a society, simply on the basis that we’re human.

Back to All Events

Immigration Teach In

  • Olin 130, Whitman College 345 Boyer Ave Walla Walla, WA USA (map)

A week of action and discussion on the issue of immigration, to occur at Whitman College, culminating in a two hour "teach in" on Friday, April 18.

Monday April 14th: Keynote lecture from Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Labor Organizing Network, Location TBA 

Tuesday April 15"Harvest of Empire" film screening: 7:30pm in Kimball Theater, Whitman College

Wednesday April 16Regional Immigration Activist Panel: Maxey 204, Whitman College at 7:30pm

Friday April 18thTeach In, Olin 130, Whitman College, 3pm, Schedule below.

3:00 Intros, outline of the afternoon.

3:05-3:35 Julie Charlip, with a brief history of U.S.-Latin American relations, specifically as it pertains to factors which have precipitated northern migration.

3:35-4:05 Jennifer Devine, discussing narco-trafficking and the war on drugs, with a focus on how these factors may have exacerbated tensions driving migration.

4:05-4:35 Heather Ashley Hayes, discussing drone warfare, biometrics, and weapons of the state on the U.S.-Mexico border.

4:35-5:00 Alum Ariel Ruiz '12 will lead an audience discussion of the intersection of the issues discussed in the afternoon.

Later Event: April 19
Admitted Student's Day