Heather Adams

Contact Information



Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University-2012
M.A. Bread Loaf School of English/Middlebury College–2008
M.A. University of Maryland College Park–2008
B.A. University of Mount Union (formerly Mount Union College)-2000

Research Interests

Dr. Adams’s research performs feminist historiography of the recent past and investigates rhetorics of unwed pregnancy, reproduction, and motherhood. Her book project, “Shame, Secrets, and Silences: The Rhetorical Legacy of Unwed Pregnancy in the United States Since 1960,” explores rhetorical shaming and blaming practices, both private and public, that have shaped—and that continue to shape—discussions of women’s reproduction and sexual wellbeing. Dr. Adams’s scholarly and pedagogical interests also include visual rhetorics, ethnographic methods, and decolonial and intersectional theories.

Selected Publications

  • “Rhetorics of Unwed Motherhood and Shame.” Women’s Studies in Communication 40.1 (2017): 91-110. Reprinted in Mothering Rhetorics. Routledge, 2018.
  • “Historiographic Remembering and Emotional Encounters: Possibilities for Field-Based Rhetorical Research.” In Field Rhetoric: Places of Persuasion. University of Alabama Press, 2018.
  • “English Studies as a Site for Healing: A Conversation about Place-Based and Indigenous Pedagogies in the English Classroom.” With Jennifer C. Stone, Tayler Snoddy, Samantha Mack, Hailey Nicolet-Lloyd, and Arlo Nasruk Davis. Journal of the Alaska Native Studies Council, 4. (2017).
  • “Key Concept: Service.” With Holly Hassel, Hyoejin Yoon, and Jes Rucki. Peitho 18.1 (2015): 45-50.
  • “Applying Rhetorical Genre Studies to a Stand-Alone Professional Writing Course.” With Patricia Jenkins. Composition Forum Special Issue on Rhetorical Genre Studies, “30 Years of ‘Genre as Social Action’: The Past and Possible Futures of Rhetorical Genre Studies.” Composition Forum 31 (2015).
  • “Visual Style and the Looking Subject: Nell Brinkley’s Illustrations of Modern Womanhood.” Women’s Studies in Communication 37.1 (2014): 90-110.

Awards and Honors

  • Marc Friedlaender English Faculty Excellence Award, UNCG, 2018-2019.
  • New Faculty Grant, UNCG, 2017-2019.
  • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), 2015.
  • Faculty Leadership in Expanding Undergraduate Research (FLEUR) Award. University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, 2015.
  • James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award, CCCC, 2012.
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