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.

My first book, published with Palgrave Macmillan Press, is titled Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars. It explores the relationship between violence and discourse, generating political and cultural insights about the possibilities for newly formed subjectivities within the global war on terror, the Arab world, and discourse's relationship to violence. The monograph argues that these insights point to both a refiguration of cultural patterns and also to the ways different subjectivities arise and circulate through larger maps of contemporary global power within the post 9/11 conjuncture.

 The Congressional Research Service maps al-Qaeda's role in the war on terror.

The Congressional Research Service maps al-Qaeda's role in the war on terror.

More specifically, the project introduces three areas of insight. First, for rhetorical studies it suggests a refiguring of the rhetorical situation to be understood as material. As such, it suggests that the rhetorical situation is composed of bodies, technologies, and spaces/places. Second, the project performs rhetorical cartography as a method of inquiry, drawing from both rhetorical studies and from critical cartography and geography. This method allows mapping of modes of materiality in a quest to better understand global power relations and transnational rhetorics. Finally, the project suggests a political and cultural insight for understanding perceptions of the Arab world and violence against Arab/Muslim people at the conjuncture of the global war on terror. Here, the project posits that through its rhetorical cartography we better understand the multitude of ways that subject positions within the global war on terror are generated and reconstituted.

In drawing these conclusions, the book project centers around the technology of U.S. armed drones as part of the global war on terror, specifically dealing with the implications drone use in the Middle East and North Africa by the United States has for understanding the way violence functions communicatively. The work performs a rhetorical cartography of drone culture against Egypt's revolutionary moment via Tahrir Sqaure in January of 2011, and the landscape of what is sometimes called the "Arab Spring," exploring the possibilities in each of these mappings to refigure and resist technologies of governance both within the United States and globally.

Violent Subjects can be ordered here. In addition, check back here - or check out the "Events" page - for readings, events, talks, and book signings near you!

see below for Book Signings, Events, and Readings for Violent Subjects Near You