Skip to main content

Viet Nguyen

Associate Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity

Contact Information
E-mail: vnguyen@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-3746
Office: THH 404D

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website
diaCRITICS: on Vietnamese and diasporic arts, culture and politics
DVAN: the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network
Center for Transpacific Studies
 

Biographical Sketch

Viet Thanh Nguyen is an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, as well as a member of the steering committee for the Center for Transpacific Studies. He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and the novel The Sympathizer, forthcoming from Grove/Atlantic in 2015.

His articles have appeared in numerous journals and books, including PMLA, American Literary History, Western American Literature, positions: east asia cultures critique, The New Centennial Review, Postmodern Culture, the Japanese Journal of American Studies, and Asian American Studies After Critical Mass. Many of his articles can be downloaded here.

He has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (2011-2012), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2008-2009) and the Fine Arts Work Center (2004-2005). He has also received residencies, fellowships, scholarships and grants from the Luce Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, the James Irvine Foundation, the Huntington Library, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation.

His teaching and service awards include the Mellon Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students, the Albert S. Raubenheimer Distinguished Junior Faculty Award for outstanding research, teaching and service, the General Education Teaching Award, and the Resident Faculty of the Year Award. Multimedia has been a key part of his teaching. In a recent course on the American War in Viet Nam, he and his students created An Other War Memorial, which won a grant from the Fund for Innovative Undergraduate Teaching and the USC Provost's Prize for Teaching with Technology.

His short fiction has been published in Manoa, Best New American Voices 2007, A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross-Cultural Collision and Connection, Narrative Magazine, TriQuarterly, the Chicago Tribune, and Gulf Coast, where his story won the 2007 Fiction Prize.

His writing has been translated into Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Spanish, and he has given invited lectures in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany. He has finished a collection of short stories and is working on a comparative study of American and Vietnamese memories and representations of the American war in Viet Nam, focusing on the literary and visual arts. In his spare time, he co-directs the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network and edits diaCRITICS, a blog on Vietnamese and diasporic Vietnamese arts and culture.

 

Education

Ph.D. English, UC Berkeley, 5/1997
B.A. English, UC Berkeley, 5/1992
B.A. Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, 5/1992
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 2003-2008  
Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 1997-2003  
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Nguyen's research interests include war and memory; race and ethnicity; multiculturalism and identity; transnationalism and diaspora; Asian American literature and culture; international and comparative approaches to the Vietnam War; the Vietnamese diaspora; and fiction writing. He has an ongoing interest in multimedia and pedagogy, ever since teaching several multimedia courses at USC and being involved with the Visible Knowledge Project of Georgetown University.
 

Research Keywords

Asian American literature and culture, war and memory, American studies, race and ethnicity in US culture, film studies, multimedia, multimedia literacy project, race and resistance, Vietnam, the Vietnam War, Vietnamese Americans, Southeast Asia, Southeast Asian Americans, race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, identity, transnationalism, diaspora.
 

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

Center for Transpacific Studies (Luce Foundation), Janet Hoskins, Viet Nguyen, $200,000, 12/2011-06/2014  
Grant for Artistic Innovation (Center for Cultural Innovation), Viet Nguyen, $10,000, 2011-2012   
An Eye for an Eye: Contemporary Art and the American War in Viet Nam (Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation), Viet Nguyen, $20,000, 2009-2010   
Memories of the Bad War: Ethnicity and Empathy in Viet Nam (US-Japan Friendship Commission), Viet Nguyen, $7,300, 06/01/2007-06/30/2007  
VISIBLE KNOWLEDGE PROJECT (Georgetown University), Viet Nguyen, George Sanchez, Mark Kann, Jane Iwamura, $75,000, 01/01/2001-09/30/2005  
 

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Transpacific Studies: Interventions and Intersections", Lecture/Seminar, Tokyo, Hitotsubashi University, Invited, 03/26/2013  
"Constructing Conversations: Between Asian American Studies and Transpacific Studies", Lecture/Seminar, Tokyo, Seijo University, Invited, 03/19/2013  
"Just Memory: War and the Ethics of Remembrance", Lecture/Seminar, Nagoya, Japan, Nagoya University, Invited, 03/17/2013  
"Transpacific Studies: Interventions and Intersections", Race and Ethnicity in American Literature and Culture: A Reconsideration, Keynote Lecture, Nagoya, Japan, Nagoya University, Invited, 03/16/2013  
"Refugee Memories and Asian American Critique", International Conference on Asian American Expressive Culture, Lecture/Seminar, Beijing, Chinese American Literature Research Center, Beiji, 06/09/2012  
"Toward a Model of Transpacific Studies", Transnational American Studies as Theory and Praxis: Chinese and American Perspectives, Lecture/Seminar, Beijing, Tsinghua University, Invited, 06/07/2012  
"Just Memory: War and the Ethics of Remembrance", Oceanic Archives and Transnational American Studies Symposium, Lecture/Seminar, Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong, Invited, 06/04/2012  
"War, Justice and Asian American Critique", Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Seoul, Korea, Yonsei University, Invited, 11/21/2011  
"War and Cultural Studies: Korean Memories of Viet Nam", English Language and Literature Association of Korea, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Onyang, Korea, English Language and Literature Association of Kor, Invited, 11/18/2011  
"Just Memory: The Afterlife of War", Talk/Oral Presentation, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, English Department, University of Illinois, Invited, 10/28/2011  
"The New (Not So Asian) American Writers", Post45 Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Cleveland, OH, Post45 Conference, Invited, 04/30/2011  
"Remembering the American War in Viet Nam", Talk/Oral Presentation, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Invited, 06/07/2010  
"Transpacific Crossings: Intersections of Area Studies, Asian Studies, and American Studies", Asian American Studies in Asia: An International Workshop, Talk/Oral Presentation, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, Invited, 06/04/2010  
"An Eye for an Eye: Art, Memory, and the American War in Viet Nam ", Talk/Oral Presentation, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Invited, 06/03/2010  
"Collection, Confrontation, Commemoration: War and the Display of Art", Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Austin, TX, Association for Asian American Studies, 04/09/2010  
"Southeast Asians in the United States, the United States in Southeast Asia: Notes on Field and Method", Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Austin, TX, Invited, 04/09/2010  
"How Do We Tell and Read (Asian American) Stories?", Lecture/Seminar, Hannover, Germany, University of Hannover, Invited, 05/05/2009  
"Remembering the American War in Viet Nam", Lecture/Seminar, Harvard University, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Invited, 04/15/2009  
"Asian Diasporas in the United States: On Exiles, Refugees, Transnationals, and Flexible Citizens", At Home Abroad: Diasporas and Homelands Comparative Perspectives Workshop, Talk/Oral Presentation, Brandeis University, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Invited, 03/01/2009  
"Popular Culture and the Art of War ", TransPOP Symposium, Talk/Oral Presentation, Berkeley, California, University of California, Berkeley, Invited, 02/14/2009  
"American Studies in an International Frame", American Literature Colloquium, Lecture/Seminar, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Invited, 02/11/2009  
"On the Dead’s Own Terms: Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Visual Culture", Association for Asian American Studies, Talk/Oral Presentation, Chicago, 04/19/2008  
"Impossible to Forget, Difficult to Remember: The American War in Viet Nam", Comparative Literature Symposium on War, Empire and Culture, Keynote, Lubbock, TX, Texas Tech University, Invited, 04/11/2008  
"The Authenticity of the Anonymous", transPOP: Korea Vietnam Remix, Talk/Oral Presentation, Seoul, South Korea, ARKO Art Center, Invited, 01/18/2008  
"On the Dead’s Own Terms: Dinh Q. Lê’s Secondhand Memories", I/M/Migration Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, Loyola Marymount University, Invited, 10/30/2007  
"The Uses of Cosmopolitanism: On War, Empathy, and Narrative", Multicultural Narratives and Narrative Theory, Talk/Oral Presentation, Columbus, OH, Project Narrative, Ohio State University, Invited, 10/26/2007  
"Reflections on Race: Japan and the American War in Viet Nam", American Studies Association Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Philadelphia, PA, American Studies Association , 10/13/2007  
"The Art of Dinh Q. Lê", Talk/Oral Presentation, Bellevue, WA, Bellevue Arts Museum, Invited, 09/09/2007  
"A Correct Life", Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, Visions and Voices, University of Southern Califor, Invited, 07/09/2007  
"Speaking for the Dead: Viet Nam, the United States, and Memorialization", Talk/Oral Presentation, Tokyo, Japan, Center for Pacific and American Studies, Universit, Invited, 06/19/2007  
"Speaking for the Dead: Viet Nam, the United States, and Memorialization", Inaugural Lecture, Tokyo, Japan, Center for the Study of Peace and Reconciliation, , Invited, 06/18/2007  
"Race and Resistance: On Asian American Cultural Politics", Talk/Oral Presentation, Osaka, Japan, Kansai University, Invited, 06/14/2007  
"Memories of the Bad War: Ethnicity and Empathy in Viet Nam", Japanese Association of American Studies, Talk/Oral Presentation, Tokyo, Japan, Japanese Association of American Studies, Invited, 06/09/2007  
"Not Like Going Home: On Ambivalent Returns to the Source", Look East Symposium, Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, University of Southern California, Invited, 04/20/2007  
"Little Shop of Horrors: Harrell Fletcher and the War Remnants Museum", Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, LAX>
"Ghostly Stories, Haunted Memories: South Korea and Viet Nam", American Studies Association Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Oakland, CA, American Studies Association , 10/13/2006  
"The Limits of Identity: Asian Americans and the American War in Viet Nam", American Literature Association Symposium, Talk/Oral Presentation, San Diego, American Literature Association, Invited, 09/30/2006  
"Memories of the Bad War: Viet Nam in the American Imagination", Multiethnic Alliances , Plenary Speech, Santa Barbara, CA, Center for Black Studies, University of California, Invited, 05/13/2006  
 

Other Presentations

"Literary Reading", Going Beyond Asian/American Tropes: A Poetry and Fiction Reading, American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, 05/29/2010  
"Literary Reading/Inaugural Speaker", "Arts and Reconciliation" Series, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, CA, 05/17/2009  
"Literary Reading", Scholars Reading, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Middlebury, Vermont, 08/16/2008  
"Literary Reading", Where Art Originates, Palo Alto Art Center and Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Palo Alto, CA, 05/01/2008  
"Literary Reading", Vietnamese American Smithsonian Touring Exhibit, Viet Art Center Foundation, Garden Grove, CA, 10/21/2007  
 

Publications

Book

Nguyen, V. T. (2002). Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. Oxford University Press.
 

Book Chapter

Nguyen, V. T. (2008). The Authenticity of the Anonymous: Popular Culture and the Art of War. pp. 58-67. Seoul: Arko Arts Center, Arts Council Korea: transPOP: Korea Vietnam Remix.
Nguyen, V. T. (2007). Impossible to Forget, Difficult to Remember: Viet Nam and the Art of Dinh Q. Le. pp. 19-29. Bellevue, WA: A Tapestry of Memories: The Art of Dinh Q. Lê/Bellevue Arts Museum.
Nguyen, V. T. (2006). Theresa Cha, Dictee. pp. 209-212. Encyclopedia.
Nguyen, V. T. (2005). Wounded Bodies and the Cold War: Freedom, Materialism, and Revolution in Asian American Literature, 1946-1957 printed in Authority and Identity in Early Asian American Literature. Temple University Press.
Nguyen, V. T. (2004). What is the Political? American Culture and the Example of Viet Nam printed in Asian American Studies After Critical Mass. pp. 19-39. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Nguyen, V. T. (2004). Marxism After Ho Chi Minh printed in Collective Action: A Bad Subjects Anthology. pp. //bad.eserver.org/issues/1999/45/nguyen.html. Pluto Press.
Nguyen, V. T. (2003). How Do We Tell Stories? printed in Engines of Inquiry: Approaches to Teaching, Learning, and Technology in American Culture Studies. pp. 363-396. Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship.
Nguyen, V. T. (2001). Le Ly Hayslip: A Teaching Guide printed in Resource Guide to Asian American Literature. pp. 66-77. Modern Language Association.
 

Book Review

Nguyen, V. T. (2007). After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai. Journal of Asian American Studies. pp. 215-218.
Nguyen, V. T. (2006). Urban Triage: Race and the Fictions of Multiculturalism. Amerasia Journal. 32.1. pp. 136-139.
 

Essay

Nguyen, V. T. (2010). War, Memory and the Future. pp. 279-290. Asian American Literary Review.
 

Journal Article

Nguyen, V. T. (2013). Just Memory: War and the Ethics of Remembrance. American Literary History. Vol. 25 (1), pp. 144-163.
Nguyen, V. T. (2012). Refugee Memories and Asian American Critique. positions: asia critique. Vol. 20 (3), pp. 911-942.
Nguyen, V. T. (2009). Remembering War, Dreaming Peace: On Cosmopolitanism, Compassion and Literature. Japanese Journal of American Studies. (20), pp. 1-26. Article link
Nguyen, V. T. (2009). Multimedia as Composition: Research, Writing, and Creativity. Academic Commons. Article link
Nguyen, V. T. (2008). At Home With Race. PMLA. Vol. 123 (5), pp. 1557-1565.
Nguyen, V. T. (2007). Seeing Double: The Films of R. Hong-an Truong. Postmodern Culture/University of Virginia Press. Vol. http, pp. //muse.jhu.edu/journals/pmc/toc/pmc17.1.html. Article link
Nguyen, V. T. (2006). Speak of the Dead, Speak of Viet Nam: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Minority Discourse. The New Centennial Review/Michigan State Univ. Press. Vol. volume 6, pp. number 2.
Nguyen, V. T. (2000). The Remasculinization of Chinese America: Race, Violence, and the Novel. American Literary History/Duke University Press. pp. p. 130-157.
Nguyen, V. T., Chen, T. (2000). Editor's Introduction. Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies/North Carolina State University. Vol. http, pp. http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v4i3/con43.h. Article link
Nguyen, V. T. (1999). California, the Pacific Rim, and Asian American Literature. Western American Literature/Western American Literature Association. Vol. (Summer 1999) 159-165
Nguyen, V. T. (1997). Representing Reconciliation: Le Ly Hayslip and the Victimized Body. Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique/Duke University Press. pp. p. 605-642.
Nguyen, V. T. (1995). The Postcolonial State of Desire: Homosexuality and Transvestitism in Ninotchka Rosca's State of War. Hitting Critical Mass: A Journal of Asian American Criticism/University of California, Berkeley. pp. p. NA.
 

Magazine/Trade Publication

Nguyen, V. T. Masticating Adrian Tomine. American Book Review. Vol. 31, pp. 12.
 

Short Story

Nguyen, V. T. (2011). Fatherland. pp. 26 pages. Narrative Magazine.
Nguyen, V. T. (2011). Look At Me. pp. 6 pages. The Good Men Project.
Nguyen, V. T. (2010). The Americans. pp. 23 pages. Chicago Tribune.
Nguyen, V. T. (2010). Arthur Arellano. pp. 27-40. Narrative Magazine. Story link
Nguyen, V. T. (2010). The War Years. pp. 79-93. TriQuarterly.
Nguyen, V. T. (2008). Someone Else Besides You. pp. 16-33. Narrative Magazine. Story link
Nguyen, V. T. (2007). The Other Woman. pp. 193-211. Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts/To be reprinted in A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross-Cultural Collision and Connection./ Champaign, IL: OV Books/University of Illinois Press..
Nguyen, V. T. (2007). A Correct Life. (John Kulka and Natalie Danforth, Ed.). pp. 97-117. Best New American Voices 2007.
 

Honors and Awards

Visiting Senior Research Fellowship, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 5/31/2014-8/31/2014  
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, Provost's Prize for Teaching with Technology, 2012-2013   
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, 2011-2012   
Luce Foundation Fellow, Asian Cultural Council, 2010-2011   
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, Mellon Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students, 2010-2011   
James Irvine Foundation Honorary Fellowship, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, 2008-2009   
Suzanne Young Marray Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2008-2009   
Residency, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, 2008  
Alan Collins Scholar, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 8/13/2008-8/24/2008  
Fiction Prize, Gulf Coast Journal of Literature and the Arts, 2007  
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, Teaching Has No Boundaries Award, 2006  
Fiction Fellow, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, 2004-2005  
USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Outstanding Research, Teaching, and Service, 2002  
General Education Teaching Excellence Award, 2001-2002  
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, Teaching Award; Resident Faculty of the Year, 1999-2000  
USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, 1999-2000  
Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, Mellon Foundation Fellow, The Huntington Library, 1999  
Gamma Sigma Alpha Professor of the Year, 1998-1999   
 

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Director of Graduate Studies, American Studies and Ethnicity, 08/01/2009-07/31/2011  
Director of Graduate Studies, American Studies and Ethnicity, 2007-2008   
Director of Undergraduate Studies, English, 08/01/2005-07/31/2008  
 

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

Founder and Editor of diaCRITICS, a blog on Vietnamese/diasporic cultural politics, diacritics.org, 05/01/2010-  
President, Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, www.dvanonline.org, 05/01/2008-  
 

Other Service to the University

USC Ambassador , 01/01/2000-  
Co-Director, Center for Transpacific Studies, 08/01/2009-05/31/2012  
 

Service to the Profession

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Board of Directors, Kaya Press, 05/31/2012-  
Editorial Board, American Literary History, 03/01/2008-  
Contributing Editor, Heath Anthology of American Literature, Sixth Edition, 2007-  
Advisory Board, Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature, 2006-  
 

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

President, Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, 08/31/2008-05/31/2012  
 
 
Faculty may update their profile by visiting https://mydornsife.usc.edu.