Faculty and Staff

Sara Hayden

Sara Hayden


Office: LA 346
Email: sara.hayden@mso.umt.edu
Office Hours:

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00-1:50 and by appointment



Current Position

Professor, Department of Communication Studies

Executive-Director, Western States Communication Association


COMX 240-Introduction to Rhetorical Theory, MWF 11:00-11:50 UH 210


COMX 491--Discourses of Motherhood in Practice, Politics, and the Media, MW 2:00-3:30 HS 207



Personal Summary

Sara Hayden’s research is in the area of rhetorical criticism and theory. In her work, she integrates interests in the social construction of gender, feminist theory, and feminist movements.  


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1994

M.A., University of Minnesota, 1991

B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1987

Research Interests

Sara has published and presented essays exploring both contemporary and historical rhetoric surrounding women's health, reproduction, sexuality education, maternity, and the abortion debate in the United States. Her current work focuses on the rhetorical construction of maternity.

Field of Study

Rhetorical Criticism and Theory, Gender, Feminism(s), Social Movements

Selected Publications

Hayden, S. and O'Brien Hallstein, L. (2021). An Ode to Academic Mothers: Finding Gratitude and Grace in the Midst of COVID-19. In O'Reilly, Andrea and Green, Fiona Joy (Eds.) Mothers, Mothering, and COVID-19: Dispatches from a Pandemic (pp. 169-189). Grandford, Ontario: Demeter.

O'Brien Hallstein, L. and Hayden, S. (2021). Academic Motehring During the Pandemic: Lessons for the Future. The Sociological Observer, 47-52.

Hayden, S. (2018). Toward a Collective Rhetoric Rooted in Choice: Consciousness Raising in the Boston Women's Health Book Collective's Ourselves and Our Children. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 104, 3. DOI 10.1080/00335630.2018.1486034

Hayden, S. (2016). Michelle Obama, Mom-in-Chief: The Racialized Rhetorical Contexts of Maternity. Women's Studies in Communication, DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2016.1182095. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0791409.2016.1182095 (reprinted in O'Brien Hallstein, D. L. (2018) Mothering Rhetorics. New York: Routledge).

Hundley, H. and Hayden, S. (Eds.) 2016). Mediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth. New York: Peter Lang.

Hayden, S. (2015). Maternal Crime in a Cathedral of Consumption. In A.T. Demo, J. L. Borda, and C. Krolokke (Eds.) The Motherhood Business: Consumption, Communication, and Priviledge. Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press.

Hayden, S. and O’Brien Hallstein, L. D. (2012). “Placing Sex/Gender at the Forefront:  Feminisms Intersectionality, and Communication Studies.  In Chavez, K. R. and Cindy L. Griffin (Eds.) At The Intersection: Feminist Voices, Feminist Practices in Communication Studies, SUNY Press.

Hayden, S. (2011).  Constituting Savvy Aunties: From Childless Women to Child-Focused Consumers.  Women’s Studies in Communication, 34, 1-19.

Hayden, S., and O’Brien Hallstein, D. L.  (Eds.) (2010).  Contemplating Maternity in the Era of Choice: Explorations into Discourses of Reproduction.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

Hayden, S. (2010).   Purposefully Childless Good Women. In Hayden, S. and O’Brien Hallstein, D. L. (Eds.) Contemplating Maternity in the Era of choice: Explorations into Discourses of Reproduction.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

Hayden, S.  (2010).  Lessons from The Baby Boon: Family-Friendly Policies and the Ethics of Justice and Care. Women’s Studies in Communication, 33, 119-137.

Hayden, S. (2009).  Revitalizing the debate between Life and Choice: The 2004 March for Women’s Lives. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 6, 111-131. 

Hayden, S. (2003).  Maternal metaphors and the nation: Promoting a politics of care through the Million Mom March.  Quarterly Journal of Speech, 89, 196-215.



2011 Outstanding Edited Book Award, awarded by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender, for Hayden, S., and O’Brien Hallstein, D. L.  (Eds.) (2010) Contemplating Maternity in an Era of Choice: Explorations into Discourses of Reproduction. 

Faculty Prize for Outstanding Research or Creative Activities in the Study of Women or Gender awarded by the Women’s Studies Program, The University of Montana, 2010, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998

B. Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Journal Article Award, awarded by the Western States Communication Association, February, 1998 for Re-claiming bodies of knowledge: An exploration of the relationship between feminist theorizing and feminine style in the rhetoric of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective.  Western Journal of Communication, 61, 127-163.

The William Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching Across the Curriculum, granted by the College of Humanities & Sciences, University of Montana, Spring 2018

Nominee, CASE U.S. Professors of the Year Teaching Award, University of Montana, Spring 2013.

Western States Communication Association Master Teacher Award, 2010, awarded by the WSCA Curriculum and Instruction Interest Group.           

University of Montana’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2008


Teaching Experience

COMM 240-Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

COMM 380-Gender and Communication

COMM 445-Rhetorical Criticism

COMM 448-The Rhetorical Constructon of Woman

COMM 449-The Rhetoric of U.S. Women's Activism

COMM 491-Propaganda in Context: Nazis and Soviets

COMM 491-Feminisms and Film

COMM 555-Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism

COMM 595-Seminar in Gender and Communication


International Experience

Sookmyung University International Summer School, 2007, Seoul, South Korea:  Gender and Communication

Faculty Exchange, University College Cork, Fall 2016


Member, National Communication Association,  Western States Communication Association, Organization for Research on Women and Communication

Member, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Steering Committee, University of Montana