Assistant Professor

I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Canada at the age of nine. After receiving my BA in English from the University of Calgary I embarked on a two-year teaching stint in Tokyo, Japan. When I left Japan, I backpacked around Asia for a year. Upon my return to Canada, I entered graduate school at McMaster University, where I specialized in Asian diaspora literature and culture.

My research is concerned with issues of war, refugees, and affect. My dissertation examined how the “figure of the refugee”—as an analytic—both illuminates and complicates conventional understandings of nationhood, citizenship, and belonging, and in doing so, imagines alternative ways to think about history as well as socio-political formations to come. Taking the context of the war in Vietnam, and the Southeast Asian diasporas that have resulted from it, as my case study, I focused on three affective categories — gratitude, resentment, and resilience — to explore how refugees remember, represent, and embody forced migration and its afterlife. Reading a range of texts including novels, short fiction, memoir, poetry, activist performance, and art videos, my research developed a critical framework for understanding refugee passages through the lens of feeling and embodiment, emotion and collectivity.

Vinh Nguyen.

Contact information
Tel: 519-884-4404 ext. 28727
Location: REN 0217

University of Waterloo

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