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. Sometimes she writes film reviews and essays, also.

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.

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 and the Arab world as well as reflections on 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 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 confront 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 as part of the global war on terror. Here, the project posits that through its rhetorical cartography we better can map 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 US armed drones as part of the global war on terror, specifically dealing with the implications armed drone use in the Middle East and North Africa by the United States (and the droneworld it has spawned) has for understanding the way violence functions communicatively. The work performs a rhetorical cartography of drone culture alongside a mapping of 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