Wendy Hesford

Wendy Hesford

Wendy Hesford

Department of English


614 292-6065

518 Denney Hall
164 West 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • Human Rights Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Transnational Feminisms


  • PhD, New York University

Author of Framing Identities: Autobiography and the Politics of Pedagogy (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), winner of the 1999 W. Ross Winterowd Book Award; and Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms (Duke University Press, 2011), winner of the 2012 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award. Co-editor with Wendy Kozol of two collections Haunting Violations: Feminist Criticism and the Crisis of the "Real" (University of Illinois Press, 2001) and Just Advocacy? Women's Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and The Politics of Representation (Rutgers University Press, 2005), and co-editor with Adela Licona and Christa Teston of Precarious Rhetorics (The Ohio State University Press, 2018). Co-author with Brenda Brueggemann of the textbook Rhetorical Visions: Reading and Writing in a Visual Culture (Prentice Hall, 2007).

Dr. Hesford's current book project Exceptional Rhetorics: Regulating Childhood and Children's Human Rights examines international and national new, advocacy media, and legal representations of children’s human rights and the differential visibility of the rights of children identified as living in-between or outside of citizenship.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, OSU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, OSU Ratner Teaching Award, NEH Summer Seminar fellowship, several OSU Seed Grants, OSU Research Enhancement Grants, Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Grants, and the Modern Language Association's Florence Howe essay award. She has published reviews and essays in a range of journals, including PMLA, Biography, College English, Feminist Formations, Journal of Human Rights, Humanity, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, TDR: Journal of Performance Studies, and SIGNS, among others.

She is past President of the Women's Caucus of the Modern Language Association and former Chair of the Executive Committee of the MLA Division of the History and Theory of Rhetoric and Composition. She has served as co-organizer (with Professor Amy Shuman) of the OSU Human Rights Working Group, sponsored by Humanities Institute and several human rights conferences and symposia, including Global Human Rights, Sexualities, and Vulnerabilities Symposium Spring, 2013, and most recently with Associate Professor Treva Lindsey she organized the 2016 Black Lives Matter in the Classroom Symposium. She has held several visiting scholar appointments and residency fellowships at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights; Emory Law School’s The Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative, and most recently as residence fellow at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.