Hailey N. Otis

Visiting Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies

Pettigrew Hall, Room 308



Hailey N. Otis teaches classes in rhetorical theory and criticism at Bates. Her research works at the nexus of  rhetoric, fat studies, queer theory, and intersectional feminist theory to investigate performances of non-normative embodiment and enactments of worldmaking in digital spaces. Her primary research topic coalesces around digital forms of contemporary fat activism. Hailey is currently working on a project that investigates how discourses of healthism construct fat bodies, disabled bodies, and bodies of color as disposable in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This project will also analyze and amplify moments of everyday resistance and movements of collective activism that work against healthist discourses of disposability in digital spaces, such as through the hashtag #NoBodyIsDisposable.



  • Ph.D. in Communication (emphasis in Rhetoric & Civic Engagement), August 2021, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Dissertation: Fat-Positive Worldmaking in the Body Positive Movement: Queering, Decolonizing, Intersecting.
  • M.A. in Communication Studies, August 2017, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
  • B.A. in Communication Studies, May 2015, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.


  • Critical rhetoric(s)
  • Embodied rhetorics
  • Fat studies
  • Intersectionality
  • Queer theory
  • Worldmaking
  • Social/digital media


  • Otis, Hailey N. and Thomas R. Dunn. “Queer Worldmaking.” Oxford Encyclopedia of Queer Studies & Communication, edited by Isaac West, E. Cram, Frederik Dhaenens, Pamela Lannutti, and Gust Yep, Oxford University Press (2021). 
  • Otis, Hailey Nicole. “Tess Holliday’s Queering of Body Positive Activism: Disrupting Fatphobic Logics of Health and Resignifying Fat as Fit.” Women’s Studies in Communication 43, no. 2 (2020): 157-80. 
  • Otis, Hailey Nicole. “Intersectional Rhetoric: Where Intersectionality as Analytic Sensibility and Embodied Rhetorical Praxis Converge.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 105, no. 4 (2019): 368-89.

Current Courses

Winter Semester 2023

GSS 391M / RFSS 391M
Rhetorics of the Body: Intersections of Identity, Power, and Culture

RFSS 100
What is Rhetoric?