Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship

Sharon Yam, The Ohio State University Press, September 2019

Book over with title "Inconvenient Strangers" and an imagine showing people walking from aboveInconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship draws attention to how intersecting networks of power—particularly race and ethnicity, gender, and social class—marginalize transnational subjects who find themselves outside a dominant citizenship that privileges familiarity and socioeconomic and racial superiority. In this study of how neoliberal ideas limit citizenship for marginalized populations in Hong Kong, Shui-yin Sharon Yam examines how three transnational groups—mainland Chinese maternal tourists, Southeast Asian migrant domestic workers, and South Asian permanent residents—engage with the existing citizenry and gain recognition through circulating personal narratives.

Coupling transnational feminist studies with research on emotions, Yam analyzes court cases, interviews, social media discourse, and the personal narratives of Hong Kong’s marginalized groups to develop the concept of deliberative empathy—critical empathy that prompts an audience to consider the structural sources of another’s suffering while deliberating one’s own complicity in it. Yam argues that storytelling and familial narratives can promote deliberative empathy among the audience as both a political and ethical response—carrying the affective power to jolt the dominant citizenry out of their usual xenophobic attitudes and ultimately prompt them to critically consider the human conditions they share with the marginalized and move them toward more ethical coalitions.

Sharon also recently published Birth Images on Instagram: The Disruptive Visuality of Birthing Bodies, her new research focus, in Women Studies in Communication.

Asian/American Rhetorical Trans/formations
Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture 27

This special issue of Enculturation considers “how work in Asian/American rhetoric has become more attentive to new forms of transnational power structures and the emergent forms of rhetoric crafted to negotiate, resist, and work against emerging, shifting, and often intensified ‘highly asymmetrical relations of power.’ Consistent with a ‘global imaginary,’ this work has had to account for histories of immigration; the comparative, cultural, and national contexts for rhetoric; or the development of innovative rhetorical practices in response to constructions of otherness” (Monberg and Young). In doing so, the special issue aims to make clear how “conceptualizing Asian/American rhetoric as a complex, transnational, networked activity may lead to generative and critical work that moves beyond the initial work of a ‘rhetoric of becoming’ to shift toward a generative process that must now account for an identity that is reframed as Asian/American and no longer simply Asian American” (Monberg and Young).

Editors: Terese Guinsatao Monberg and Morris Young

Contributors: LuMing Mao, Anne C. Wheeler, Alison Yeh Cheung, Kent A. Ono, Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Linh Dich, Vincent N. Pham, Jo Hsu, Kate Firestone, Vani Kannan, Charlyne Sarmiento

Building a History, Having a Home: A History of the Conference on College Composition & Communication Asian/Asian American Caucus
Parlor Press, 2017

Building a Community, Having a Home: A History of the Conference on College Composition and Communication Asian/Asian American Caucus documents how Asian/Asian American teacher-scholars have emerged within and contributed to a number of areas in rhetoric and composition, as well as the National Council of Teachers of English and the Conference on College Composition and Communication in diverse and substantial ways from the 1960s to contemporary times. Contributors reflect on the spaces where the writing of history and the potential for community coalesce, ultimately demonstrating how a history that acknowledges the alliances, unexpected connections and coalitions, gaps, setbacks, and silences is necessary for sustaining a scholarly community that is persistently open to re/vision. Building a Community, Having a Home works toward these goals by including archival research and interviews with founding members alongside a bibliography of works in Asian/Asian American rhetoric and composition, and scholarly essays illustrating the contributions Asian/Asian American scholars have made to the history of rhetoric, world Englishes, writing program administration, and more. At the same time, the collection interweaves cross-generational perspectives and emerging work as a way of illustrating how institutional action, as well as the scholarly work of Asian/Asian American teacher-scholars has been circulated and carried forward over time.

Editors: Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Terese Guinsatao Monberg, K. Hyoejin Yoon

Contributors: Chanon Adsanatham, Dominic Ashby, Holly Bruland, Karen Ching Carter, Stuart Ching, Linh Dich, Haivan V. Hoang, Lawson Fusao Inada, Asao B. Inoue, Scott Ka’alele, Lehua Ledbetter, Edward Lee, Jerry Won Lee, LuMing Mao, Paul Kei Matsuda, Peter Mayshle, Jolivette Mecenas, Terese Guinsatao Monberg, Michael Pak, Iswari Pandey, Patti Poblete, Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Charlyne Sarmiento, Mira Shimabukuro, Robyn Tasaka, Phuong Minh Tran, Bo Wang, Hui Wu, K. Hyoejin Yoon, Morris Young

Representations: Doing Asian American Rhetoric
Utah State University Press, 2008


Despite tremendous growth in attention to and scholarship about Asian Americans and their cultural work, little research has emerged that focuses directly on Asian American rhetoric. Representations: Doing Asian American Rhetoric addresses this need by examining the systematic, effective use of symbolic resources by Asians and Asian Americans in social, cultural, and political contexts. Such rhetoric challenges, disrupts, and transforms the dominant European American rhetoric and it commands a sense of unity or collective identity. However, such rhetoric also embodies internal differences and even contradictions, as each specific communicative situation is informed and inflected by particularizing contexts, by different relations of asymmetry, and, most simply put, by heterogeneous voices. The essays in Representations: Doing Asian American Rhetoric examine broadly the histories, theories, and practices of Asian American rhetoric, situating rhetorical work across the disciplines where critical study of Asian Americans occurs: Asian American studies, rhetoric and composition, communication studies, and English studies. These essays address the development and adaptation of classical rhetorical concepts such as ethos and memory, modern concepts such as identification, and the politics of representation through a variety of media and cultural texts. As these essays collectively argue, Asian American rhetoric not only reflects and responds to existing social and cultural conditions and practices, but also interacts with and impacts such conditions and practices. To the extent it does, it becomes a rhetoric of becomingý-a rhetoric that is always in the process of negotiating with, adjusting to, and yielding an imagined identity and agency that is Asian American.

Editors: LuMing Mao and Morris Young

Contributors: Rory Ono, Tomo Hattori and Stuart Ching, Haivan V. Hoang, Terese Guinsatao Monberg, Subhasree Chakravarty, Mira Chieko Shimabukuro, Robyn Tasaka, Vincent N. Pham and Kent A. Ono, Jolivette Mecenas, Mary Louise Buley-Meissner, Bo Wang, Jeffrey Carroll, Michaela D. E. Meyer, K. Hyoejin Yoon; Foreword by Min-Zhan Lu and Bruce Horner