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Shui-yin Sharon Yam | 859-323-3922 |

Dept. of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies | 1333 Patterson Office Tower, University of Kentucky


University of Kentucky

Associate Professor                                                                                                  July 2020-Present

Assistant Professor                                                                                                   Aug 2016-July 2020      




University of Wisconsin-Madison

            Ph.D.—Composition and Rhetoric                                                                 May 2016


University of Wisconsin-Madison                                                                           June 2011

            Master of Arts—Literary Studies                                                         


University of Pittsburgh                                                                                                                      April 2010

             Bachelor of Arts—Politics and Philosophy, English                                          Summa cum laude


2021. Article of the Year Award. Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

2021. Fellows' Early Career Award, Rhetoric Society of America.

2021. Outstanding Book Award, Conference on College Composition and Communication.

2020. Shortlisted, Book Award. Rhetoric Society of America.

2017. Honorable Mention, Charlies Kneupper Award. Rhetoric Society of America.

2014. Top Four Competitive Student Papers in International and Intercultural Communication. National Communication Association.

2014. CCCC Chair’s Memorial Scholarship. Conference on College Composition and Communication.

2013. Joyce M. Melville Memorial Award for Best Scholarly Essay in Composition and Rhetoric. University of Wisconsin-Madison.


2021. Co-primary investigator (with Srimati Basu, Keiko Tanaka, and Rong Wang) Sustainability Challenge Grant. University of Kentucky. ($22,670)
2021. Co-primary investigator (with Doug Boyd, Donna Kwon, Huajing Maske, Michelle Sizemore, Akiko Takenaka, Keiko Tanaka, Rong Wang, and Dan Wu) The United in True Racial Equity (UNITE) Research Priority Area. University of Kentucky. ($12,000) 
2021. Collaborative Research Grant. The National Endowment of the Humanities. (Not funded)
2020. Co-primary investigator (with Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz) Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant. University of Iowa ($7,500)
2019. Co-primary investigator (with Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz) Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Interdisciplinary Research Grant. University of Iowa. ($3,000)
2019. Summer Stipends. The National Endowment of the Humanities. (Not funded)

2019. Rankin Inclusion Fellow. University of Kentucky. ($3,165)

2017. Research and Creative Activities Program. University of Kentucky. ($1,500)

2015. Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Fellowship. University of Wisconsin-Madison. ($6,500)

2015. Vilas Research Travel Grant. University of Wisconsin-Madison. ($1000)

2014. NCA Student Caucus Travel Grant. National Communication Association.

2014. Herlihy-Jones Scholarship. University of Wisconsin-Madison.




Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship. 2019, Ohio State University Press, Intersectional Rhetoric Series.

Journal Articles

“Being Water: Protest Zines and the Politics of Care in Hong Kong.” Co-authored with Carissa Ma. Cultural Studies. Published online.

“Towards a Differential Ethics of Belonging in a Transnational Context: Navigating the Hong Kong Movement in the US in 2020 and 2021.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 43.2 (2022): 29-62.

“City of Tears: Reproductive Justice and Community Resistance in Hong Kong’s Anti-ELAB Movement.” Feminist Formations 33.2 (2021): 1-24. 

"My Year of Writing Through Diasporic Melancholy." Writers: Craft & Context. 2.1 (2021).

“Complicating Acts of Advocacy: Tactics in the Birthing Room.” Reflections: A Journal of Community Engaged Writing and Rhetoric  20.2 (2020).

“Visualizing Reproductive Justice: Romper’s Doula Diaries and Birth Stories from the Margin.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 50.1 (2020): 19-34.  


"Birth Images on Instagram: The Disruptive Visuality of Birthing Bodies." Women’s Studies in Communication, 42.1 (2019): 80-100.

“Interrogating the ‘Deep Story’: Storytelling and Narratives in the Rhetoric Classroom.” Composition Forum 14 (2018).


“Citizenship Discourse in Hong Kong: The Limits of Familial Tropes.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 104.1 (2018): 1-21.


“Instagramming Starbucks Bing Sutt: Translocalizing Cultural Memory and the Construction of Cosmopolitan Consumer Subjects.” enculturation: a journal of writing, rhetoric, and culture. 25 (2017).


“Affective Economies and Alienizing Discourse: Citizenship and Maternity Tourism in Hong Kong.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 46.5 (2016): 410-433.


“Education and Transnational Nationalism: The Rhetoric of Integration in Chinese Moral and National Education in Hong Kong.” Howard Journal of Communication 27.1 (2016): 38-52.


“Intercontextuality and Human Rights Discourse: Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and the Local Deployment of Human Rights Tropes." Co-authored with Ling Yang. Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric 5.3 (2015): 50-63. 


“Grassroots Tactics and the Appropriation of State Nationalist Rhetoric: Protest, Mockery, and Performance in Hong Kong.” Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society 4.2 (2015).

"Writing in a Deterritorialized Landscape: Translating Globalism into Composition Pedagogy." Compendium2 5.1 (2012): 19-29.



Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime by Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz. Women Studies in Communication.


“Affective Relations and Alterity: The Rhetorical Imperative and Rupture in Identification in International Human Rights Discourse.”  Review essay on Spectacular Rhetorics and Inessential Solidarity. Journal of Advanced Composition. (Forthcoming)


Gendered Asylum: Race and Violence in U.S. Law and Politics by Sara L. McKinnon. Quarterly Journal of Speech. (2017)


The Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-First Century by Catherine Squires. Reviews in Cultural Theory. (2014)


Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations by Suresh Canagarajah. Critical Multilingualism Studies 2.1 (2014): 170-173.


The Cultural Economy of Falun Gong in China: A Rhetorical Perspective by Xiao Ming. enculturaltion 17 (2014).  


Decolonizing Literacy: Mexican Lives in the Era of Global Capitalism by Gregorio Hernandez-Zamora. Journal of College Literacy and Learning 38 (2012): 38-39.


Un/Common Culture: Racism and the Rearticulation of Cultural Difference by Kamela Visweswaran with Zachary Marshall, Intervention 13.3 (2011): 517-519.


In Progress

“A Dialogue on Situating Reproductive Justice in Rhetorics of Health & Medicine. Co-authored with De Hertogh, L.B., Novotny, M., Arduser, L., Hannah, M., Harper, K., Rysdam, S., Smyser-Fauble, B., Stone, M., Pigg, S. Revised and resubmitted to Rhetoric of Health & Medicine

“Cultivating Transnational Grassroots Solidarity: Tension, Tactics, and Appropriation between the Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Movement and the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests.” Revised and resubmitted to The Journal of Rhetorics, Politics, & Culture.

New Grammars for Reproductive Justice. Co-authored book manuscript with Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz (book proposal received favorable reviews from the University of California Press, Reproductive Justice Series)


Conference Presentations

“Futures of Transnational Feminist Rhetorical Research and Practices.” Super session with Rebecca Dingo, Soumia Bardhan, Ashley Canter, Sweta Baniya, Jennifer Wingard, Rachel Reidner, Veena Namboodri, Mais Al-Khateeb, Megu Itoh, Jennifer Nish, and Belinda Walzer. Rhetoric Society of America, May 2022 (Baltimore, Maryland)


“Repression and Memory: Spatial Tactics and Diffused Commemoration” Panel presentation with Carissa Ma, Megu Itoh, and Lauren Seitz on “Transnational Protest Rhetorics: Tactics, Space, and Materiality.” Rhetoric Society of America, May 2022 (Baltimore, Maryland)


“Criminalizing Memory: Grassroots Commemoration in Hong Kong.” Panel presentation with Alison Sile Chan, David Law, and Thomas Kellogg on “Hong Kong under National Security Law.” Association for Asian Studies, March 2022 (Honolulu, Hawaii)


“Coalition Moments in Hong Kong’s Anti-ELAB Movement: Cross-Racial Solidarities and Limitations.” Panel presentation with Karrieann Soto Vega, Taveeshi Singh, and Chandra Mohanty on “Towards Transnational Solidarity: Feminist Perspectives on State Violence and Resistance.” National Women’s Studies Association, October 2021 (virtual).


“ Hong Kong, Thailand, and the US: Cultivating Transnational Grassroots Solidarity.” Hong Kong Studies Conference, June 2021 (virtual).


“Teaching while Asian/Asian American during the Trump Era.” Panel presentation with Morris Young, Nisha Shanmugaraj, and V. Jo Hsu. CCCC, 2021 (virtual).

“Hospitality/ Borders.” SuperSession with Jeff Bennett, Karma Chávez, J. David Cisneros, Rebecca Dingo, Lisa Flores, and Belinda Stillion Southard, RSA, May 2020, (Portland, OR) Conference subsequently canceled due to Covid


“Teaching the Rhetorics of Reproductive Justice: Perspectives from the Classroom and the Community.” Roundtable Presentation with Lori Beth De Hertogh, Emily Winderman, Maria Novotny, and Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, RSA, May 2020,  (Portland, OR) Conference subsequently canceled due to Covid


“Visualizing Birth Stories from the Margin: Reproductive Justice on Social Media.” Panel presentation with Jo Hsu, Stephanie Kerschbaum, and Emily Davis on “Embodied Storytelling as Resistance and Inclusive Practice.” National Women’s Studies Association, November 2019 (San Francisco, CA)


“Digital Resistance to Reproductive Justice.” Workshop presentation with Erin Frost, Marika Siegel, Maria Novotny, Bethany Johnson, and Lori Beth De Hertogh. Computers and Writing, June 2019 (East Lansing, MI)


“Engaging Empathy, Performing Care.” CCCC, March 2019 (Pittsburgh, PA)


“Deliberative Empathy and Storytelling as Disruption.” Panel presentation with Chris Earle and José Cortez on “Rhetorical Disruptions as Resistance.” National Communication Association, November 2018 (Salt Lake City, UT)


“An Absent Presence in Rhetorical Studies: (Re)Inventing Asian/American Rhetoric.” Roundtable presentation with Kate Firestone, Jo Hsu, Vanni Kannan, Florianne Jimenez, LuMing Mao, Terese Guinsatao Monberg, and Morris Young. RSA, June 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)


“Rhetorics beyond Persuasion.” Panel presentation with Ruben Casas, Chris Earle, and Leigh Elion on “Deliberative Empathy and Storytelling: Reading Migrant Domestic Workers’ Narratives.” Rhetoric Society of America, June 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)


“Rhetoric without Persuasion: Enacting Invitational Rhetoric in the Classroom.” Panel presentation with Christina Cedillo, Dagmar Scharold, and Nancy Small on “Cultivating Inclusion: Invitational Approaches to Rhetorical Instruction.” CCCC, March 2016 (Portland, OR)


“Masking Apathy with Sympathy: Local South Asians as Non-citizen Subjects.” National Communication Association, November 2016 (Philadelphia, PA)


“Differential Sovereignty and Local Rhetorical Tactics in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.” Panel presentation with Sara Alvarez, Leif Johnson, and Matthew Rosenblum on “Borders in Translation: Language Practices across Boundaries of State and Difference.” Watson Conference, October 2016 (Louisville, KY)


“Witnessing Human Suffering and the Rearticulation of Citizenship.” Rhetoric Society of America, May 2016 (Atlanta, GA)


“Personal Narratives as Mode of Resistance.” Panel presentation with Sara Alvarez and Rachel Bloom-Pojar on “The Critical Place of Affect and Culture in Transnationalism: Case Studies from the Local and Global Contexts.” CCCC, March 2016 (Houston, TX)


“Embodied and Spatial Performance as Resistance: Studying Multimodal Non-Western Rhetoric.” Panel presentation with LuMing Mao, Bo Wang, and Morris Young on “Re-mapping Asian/Asian American Rhetoric: New Methodologies for Multimodality, Hybridity, and Rhetoricity.” CCCC, March 2015 (Tampa, FL)


“Intercontextuality and Human Rights Discourse: Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and the Local Deployment of Human Rights Tropes.” Co-authored with Judy Yang. National Communication Association, November 2014 (Chicago, IL)


“Education and Transnational Nationalism: The Rhetoric of Integration in Chinese National and Moral Education in Hong Kong.” National Communication Association, November 2014 (Chicago, IL)


“Embodied Tactics as Resistance: National Identity Crisis in Hong Kong.” Panel presentation with Chris Earle and Ruben Casas on “Constructing Crisis: Discourse on Crisis and Victimhood in (Trans)National Encounters.” Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference, November 2014 (Reno, NV)


“Negotiating the Hong Kong/Chinese Border through the Tiananmen Massacre Commemoration.” Panel presentation with Jerry Won Lee and Linh Dich on “Reimagining National Borders: Shared Digital Relationships, Economies of Popular Discourse, and Grassroots Nationalism.” Rhetorical Society of America, May 2014 (San Antonio, TX)


“The Double Bind of Otherness: Rhetorics of Migrant Workers in Hong Kong.” Rhetorical Society of America, May 2014 (San Antonio, TX)


“How Open Trade Policies Concretize National Identities: A Case Study of Hong Kong and China.” CCCC, March 2014 (Indianapolis, IN)


“ ‘Double Negative’ Pregnant Women from China: The Commercialization of Citizenship and Childbirth.” Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference, September 2013 (Stanford, CA)

“Materiality and Global Economic Citizenship: TOMS Shoes’ Usage of Place Emotion as Rhetorical Strategy.” Rhetorical Society of America, UW-Madison Student Chapter, April 2013 (Madison, WI)


“Developing Global Literacy: The Re-purposing of Academic Discourse by Inter-governmental Organizations.” CCCC, March 2013 (Las Vegas, NV)


“Locusts and Taxpayers: The Economic Rhetorical Construction of Hong Kongese Identity.” Watson Conference, October 2012 (Louisville, KY)


“The Ethics of Looking: Teaching Images of Human Suffering in the Composition Classroom.” College English Association, March 2012 (Richmond, VA)


“Writing across the Curriculum with a Pedagogy of Globalism.” Midwest MLA, November 2011 (St. Louis, MO)


“I Don’t Want to Talk about it: Tutoring Students Who Write about Trauma.” Minnesota Colleges and Universities English and Writing Conference, March 2010 (Minneapolis, MN)


Invited Talks

“Xenophobia, Race, and Migration: Transnational Lessons from Hong Kong.” Honors Fellows Program, Lyon College, March 3, 2022. Forthcoming. 

“Asian Women and the Model Minority Myth in North America.” Panel discussion with Thy Phu, Jennifer Sano-Franchini, and Nisha Shanmugaraj. Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, Jan 18, 2022. 

“Looking Back at Hong Kong: A Reading & Conversation with Writers of/from Hong Kong.”  The Massachusetts Review, October 7, 2021. 

“Feminist Activism in Academia.” Mentoring table with Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz. Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, July 1, 2021. 

“No Borders, No Walls: Feminists for Abolition.” Panel discussion with Galina Angarova, Tanagra Melgarejo, Rachel Zellars, and Zukiswa Wanner. The Association for Women's Rights in Development. Jan 26, 2021. 

“Organizing the Diaspora: The U.S.-China Conflict, Anti-Asian Racism, and Transnational Solidarity.” Panel discussion with Tobita Chow, Helena Wong, David Xu Borgonjon, and JM Wong. Democrat Socialists of America, Dec 4, 2020. 

“Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law.” Panel discussion with Michael C. Davis, Maggie Lewis, and Mary Hui. Association for Asian Studies, Nov 17, 2020. 

“The Global Woman: A History and Contemporary Relations Panel.” Panel discussion with Cristina M. Alcade. Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives (CGPDI) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, University of Kentucky, Nov 10, 2020. 

“Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement: Local Tactics and Transnational Solidarity.” Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky, Oct 23, 2020.


“Deliberative Empathy and Transnational Grassroots Organizing.” The Society of Fellows Graduate Workshop, the Ohio State University, Sept 24, 2020. 


“Transnational Grassroots Solidarity and the Pandemic.” Panel discussion with Ikyo Day and Tiffany Lethabo King on “Human Rights Pasts and Futures: Pandemics, Racism and Colonialism.” The Society of Fellows Digital Dialogue Series, the Ohio State University, Sept 23, 2020.


“Hong Kong’s 2019 Anti-Extradition Movement: Community Tactics and Engagement.” The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Sept 17, 2020.

“Self-care and Student Protests: The Case in Hong Kong.” Virginia Tech University, Asian Cultural Engagement Center, February 13, 2020.


“Race, Gender, and Transnational Citizenship.” University of Kentucky, Department of Geography Colloquium, September 13, 2019.


“Deliberative Empathy and the Politics of Citizenship: The Case of Migrant Domestic Workers.” Colgate University, Department of Writing and Rhetoric, April 5, 2019.


“Chinese Maternal Tourism in Hong Kong,” University of Kentucky, Gender and Sexuality in China Symposium, Feb 16, 2017.



University of Kentucky

WRD 112, Accelerated Freshman Composition (Fall 2016-Fall 2019)

WRD/ENG 401, Special Topic: Rhetoric, Borders and Global Citizenship (Fall 2016)

WRD/ENG 401: Special Topic: Rhetorics of Reproductive Justice (Fall 2019)

WRD 408, Digital Composing (Spring 2017)

WRD 322, Rhetoric and Arguments (Fall 2017)

ST 600, Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Social Theory: Affect (Spring 2018, co-taught with faculty members from Gender and Women Studies, Geography, Hispanic Studies, and Philosophy)

WRD 222, Current Events and Public Engagement (Fall 2018)

WRD 308, Visual Rhetoric (Spring 2019)

WRD/ENG 401: Special Topic: Rhetorics of Reproductive Justice (Fall 2019)

WRD 430: Senior Seminar (Spring 2019)


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Technical Communications Instructor for the Engineering Summer Program (Summer 2011-2014)

Writing Center Instructor (Fall 2012-Spring 2014; Fall 2015)

English 100, First Year Composition: Traveling (Fall 2011-Spring 2012)

English 201, Intermediate Writing: Border Crossing (Fall 2012-Spring 2013; Fall 2013-Spring 2014)

English 201, Intermediate Writing: Emotions and Writing (Fall 2015-Spring 2016)


University of Pittsburgh

Writing Center Peer Tutor (Fall 2009-Spring 2010)



 Ruwen Chang, (2018-present, PhD in Gender and Women Studies, expected in 2022)



University of Wisconsin-Madison

Graduate Student Administration Project Assistant (Fall 2014-Spring 2015)

Graduate Career Advisor (Fall 2014-Spring 2015)



Workshop on Rhetorics of Motherhood. Facilitated by Jennifer Borda and Sara Hayden. Rhetoric Society of American Summer Institute. University of Maryland, June 2019.

The Peter Elbow Symposium for the Study and Teaching of Writing: Transnational Approaches to Language, Literacy, and Activism. UMass-Amherst. June 2018.

Seminar on In/Visible Bodies, Vulnerabilities, and Human Rights. Facilitated by Wendy Hesford and Wendy Kozol. Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute. Indiana University. May 2017.

Seminar on the Rhetorics of Citizenship. Facilitated by Karma Chávez and Catherine H. Palczewski. Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute. University of Wisconsin-Madison. June 2015.

Workshop on Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Global Citizenship. Facilitated by Jacqueline Jones Royster. Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute. University of Wisconsin-Madison. June 2015.

Research Method Workshop on Analyzing Digital Writing in a Cross Cultural Framework. Facilitated by Huatong Sun. Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. March 2015.

Seminar on Comparative Rhetoric. Facilitated by LuMing Mao and Arabella Lyon. Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute. University of Kansas. June 2013.

Workshop on Translingual Writing. Facilitated by Suresh Canagarajah, Maria Jerskey, and Dorothy Worden. Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute. University of Kansas. June 2013. 



Research Network Forum Leader, RSA, 2020

Ad hoc Reviewer for Big Data & Society, Composition Forum, Feral Feminisms, Howard Journal of Communication, International Migration Review, Research in the Teaching of English, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Routledge, Technical Communication Quarterly.

Proposal Reviewer, National Women’s Studies Association Conference, 2019

Committee Member, Gerald A. Hauser Awards, RSA, 2018. 

Standing Panel Chair, Asian/Asian American Caucus, CCCC, 2016.

University of Kentucky

Judge, Oswald Research and Creativity Competition, 2019.

Organizer, Take Root Reproductive Justice Panel, Year of Equity, 2019.

            Advisory board member, Year of Migration. 2018.

Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies

Steering and undergraduate studies committee member, 2019.

Internal chair search committee member, 2018.

Search committee member, 2017.       

Steering committee member, 2016.



Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin—native fluency in speaking, writing, and reading)



Conference on College Composition and Communication

National Council of Teachers of English

National Communication Association Asian/Pacific American Caucus

National Communication Association Women’s Caucus

Rhetorical Society of America




Michael Bernard-Donals

Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff

Professor of English

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Janice W. Fernheimer

Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies

Zantker Professor and Director of Jewish Studies

University of Kentucky


Sara McKinnon

Associate Professor of Communication Arts

University of Wisconsin-Madison



Christa J. Olson

Associate Professor of English

University of Wisconsin-Madison



Morris Young                                                                         

Professor of English

University of Wisconsin-Madison    


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