Ph.D. Candidate & Graduate Teaching Instructor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Ph.D. Candidate & Graduate Teaching Instructor
  • Department:

    • Communication Studies
  • Education:

    • B.A., University of Northern Colorado M.A., Colorado State University
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Hailey Nicole Otis is Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Teaching Instructor in the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. Hailey holds a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and holds an M.A. in Communication Studies from CSU. She also has a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. Hailey’s dissertation project analyzes moments of fat positive queer worldmaking in the body positive movement enacted by activists, influencers, and public figures. More broadly, Hailey’s research draws from rhetorical theory and criticism, fat studies, queer theory, and intersectional feminist theory to investigate topics such as non-normative embodiment and enactments of worldmaking in digital spaces. Her primary research topic currently coalesces around digital forms of contemporary fat activism and this work has been featured on top paper panels in both the Feminist and Women’s Studies division of NCA as well as the ORWAC division of WSCA. Hailey’s publication record consists of work advancing feminist rhetorical theory, extending queer rhetorical criticism to fat embodiment, and synthesizing disciplinary scholarship on queer worldmaking. Two of her most recent publications to look out for include “Tess Holliday’s Queering of Body-Positive Activism: Disrupting Fatphobic Logics of Health and Resignifying Fat as Fit,” featured in Women’s Studies in Communication in 2020 and “Intersectional Rhetoric: Where Intersectionality as Analytical Sensibility and Embodied Rhetorical Praxis Converge,” published as the lead article in the Quarterly Journal of Speech in 2019.

Hailey is committed to pedagogical excellence and has experience teaching a variety of classes, including Gender and Communication, Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric, and Communication and Popular Culture. Hailey was awarded the 2020 “Excellence in Teaching Award” by CSU’s College of Liberal Arts. Hailey also serves as the Graduate Coordinator for Professional Development at CSU’s Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) and, in this role, she helps manage TILT’s Graduate Teaching Certificate Program, CSU’s professional development program for GTAs, and hosts several interactive workshops on teaching and learning each semester, including Creating Learner-Centered Syllabi, Crafting a Teaching Persona, and Creating a Teaching Philosophy. Hailey has also served as an Editorial Assistant for Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies from Fall 2019 – Fall 2020. Hailey is Colorado born and raised and, in her free time, likes to go back to her roots in theatre and performance.


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

2020    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. *Lead Article

2019    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.

2015    Otis, Hailey. "Genderqueer: What It Means." Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado 4, no. 3 (2015).

Book Reviews:

2017    Otis, Hailey. Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display. Southern Communication Journal 83, no. 2 (2017): 133-34.

White Papers:

2019    Otis, Hailey. “Moving Beyond ‘Obesity’: Improving Healthcare Professionals’ Communication to Reduce Fat Stigma.” White Paper. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, 2019.