Heather Ashley Hayes

Heather Ashley Hayes is a scholar, author, and global citizen critic researching, writing, organizing, and teaching. Working from a PhD in communication studies and rhetoric with additional background in anthropological fieldwork methods, her interest focuses on the social implications of racialized violence and discourses of terrorism, both domestically and sometimes as part of the global, decades long US-led war on terror both within the United States and abroad. She engages work about circulations of violence and race in public discourse, film, and militarized & carceral spaces throughout the world.

Dr. Hayes is currently appointed as an Assistant Professor of the Department of Rhetoric and teaches in the Program in Race and Ethnic Studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, USA. She is the 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, has taught at both a small liberal arts college and a large public high school and many institutions in between, and serves as Terrorism and Middle East desk editor for Citizen Critics (www.citizencritics.org), where she also is a contributor.

She also loves poetic aesthetics, she’s a cinephile who publishes the occasional film/television review, and she’s a vocal fighter for all things that make participatory democracy more fair and just.

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Embracing Networked Criminality: Dispatches from the Argumentative Frameworks of Hacktivism

  • AFA/NCA ALTA Biennial Argumentation Conference Snowbird Center Alta, UT USA (map)

This presentation examines the argumentative terrain of the "hacktivist" element within the loosely cohered, global Internet based group Anonymous. Specifically looking to the actions in #OpEgypt and #OpTunisia, the work explores the networked criminality and resistance embraced by factions of Anonymous who participated in these operations. Hayes argues that this faction of Anonymous, sometimes known by competing members within organization's ranks as "moralfags," represents a new way to understand expansions of the public sphere in which dissent against state sanctioned violence can thrive.