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Eva Lam

Eva Lam

  • Associate Professor, Learning Sciences, Asian American Studies

Annenberg Hall Room 314, 2120 Campus Drive Evanston, IL 60208

Academic Area

Learning Sciences

Research Interests

Multilingualism and cultural diversity in education; digital literacy and learning in new media environments; multilingual and multimodal literacy; language and identity; learning in transnational cultural and political contexts.


Eva Lam specializes in the area of language, literacy, and diversity in education. She works at the intersection of literacy studies and applied linguistics in studying multilingual practices, digital literacies, narratives, and expansive forms of learning in transnational cultural and political contexts. Her ethnographic work has explored the digital media practices of youth of migrant backgrounds to understand these practices within larger contexts of transnational movements, social networks and identities, and flows of media content and artifacts.

With colleagues in education and journalism, she has engaged in design and research of multimedia storytelling and documentary making, particularly exploring how young people draw from diverse knowledge and representational resources in telling stories on migration. The broader goal of her research program is to contribute to societal education that mobilizes linguistic and cultural diversity as critical resources for promoting students’ academic, social, and political learning in an intercultural world.

She was a recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship (2006-2008). She has served on the editorial boards of Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, English Teaching: Practice & Critique, L2 Journal, TESOL Quarterly, Language Learning and Technology, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Journal of Applied Language Studies, and Chinese Journal of Communication. She is area editor of the Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics volume on literacy, and has served as Associate Editor of AERA Open and Cognition and Instruction. In 2011 she was given the Mid-Career Award by American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group for Second Language Research. She has served as mentor and advisory board member of NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color fellowship program from 2014-2022, and mentor of the Literacy Research Association STAR early career fellowship since 2022.


  • PhD, Education in Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of California, Berkely, 2003

Awards and Honors

  • 2021 – NCTE Alan C. Purves Award for research article judged as most likely to impact educational practice
  • 2020 – Literacy Research Association Area Chair Award for conference symposium
  • 2018 – Fellow, ASCEND A Faculty Excellence Initiative
  • 2016 – Carl A. Grant Scholar
  • 2011 – Mid-Career Award by American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group for Second Language Research

Selected Publications

Lam, Wan Shun Eva and Ron Darvin (eds.). (In progress). Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics section on Literacy (2nd Edition). Wiley Blackwell. (General Editor: Carol Chapelle)

Lam, Wan Shun Eva, Patricia Minegishi Delacruz and Gautam Bisht (In preparation). Reimagining Spaces of Learning and Border Crossing through Multimodal Storytelling on Migration.

Lam, Wan Shun Eva and M. Sidury Christiansen (2022). Transnational Mexican Youth Negotiating Languages, Identities, and Cultures Online: A Chronotopic Lens. TESOL Quarterly. (Open access link:

Shrodes, Addie, Jolie Matthews and Wan Shun Eva Lam (2021). Enacting Resistance to Intersecting Oppressions through Satirical Digital Writing on LGBTQ+ YouTube. In B. J. Guzzetti (Ed.) Genders, Cultures and Literacies: Understanding Intersecting Identities. New York: Routledge.

Lam, Wan Shun Eva, Natalia Smirnov, Amy Chang, Matthew Easterday, Enid Rosario-Ramos and Jack Doppelt (2021). Multimodal Voicing and Scale-Making in a Youth-Produced Video Documentary on Immigration. Research in the Teaching of English, 55(4), 340-368. (Lam et al. RTE 2021)

Cingel, Drew, Alexis Lauricella, Wan Shun Eva Lam, Ellen Wartella, and P. Zitlali Morales (2019). Online Communication Patterns of Chinese and Mexican Adolescents Living in the United States. International Journal of Communication, 13: 116-135.
(Download )

Smirnov, Natalia and Wan Shun Eva Lam (2019). “Presenting Our Perspective”: Recontextualizing Youths’ Experiences of Hypercriminalization through Media Production. Written Communication, 36(2): 296-344.
(Download )

Chang, Amy and Wan Shun Eva Lam. (2018). Exploring Ideological Becoming: Documentary Practices as Internally Persuasive Discourse. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age, Vol. 3, p. 1655-1656.

Lam, Wan Shun Eva and Natalia Smirnov (2017). Identity in Mediated Contexts of Transnationalism and Mobility. In Steven Thorne and Stephen May (eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Volume 9: Language, Education, and Technology Springer.
(Download )

Smirnov, Natalia, Gulnaz Saiyed, Matthew Easterday and Wan Shun Eva Lam (2017). Journalism as Model for Civic and Information Literacies. Cognition and Instruction.
(Download )