Vinh Nguyen

Associate Professor

Contact information | Tel: 519-884-4404 ext. 28727 |
Office: REN 3107


PhD, McMaster University
MA, McMaster University 
BA, University of Calgary

My teaching and research interests are in the areas of Asian diasporic literatures and cultures, critical refugee studies, auto/biography, film, critical race theory, global Anglophone literature, and creative writing. At the University of Waterloo, I regularly teach Global Literatures, Literatures of Migration, The Use of English, Fiction, and Global Asian Diaspora. My creative writing has appeared in Brick, A Literary Journal, The Malahat Review, PRISM international, The New Quarterly, and Grain. My film criticism can be found in The Criterion Collection, MUBI Notebook, and Queen’s Quarterly. I’m currently working on two projects. The first is a memoir. The second is a study of refugee cinema.  

Vinh Nguyen

Selected Publications


Lived Refuge: Gratitude, Resentment, Resilience. University of California Press, 2023. [open access] 

The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives. Eds. Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi and Vinh Nguyen. Routledge, 2023. [open access] 

Refugee States: Critical Refugee Studies in Canada. Eds. Vinh Nguyen and Thy Phu. University of Toronto Press, 2021. [open access]  

Edited Journals

“Something Personal: Archives and Methods for Critical Refugee Studies in Canada.” Spec. issue of ESC: English Studies in Canada. 45.3 (2021). Eds. Thy Phu and Vinh Nguyen. 

“small, deferred: On Souvankham Thammavongsa’s Writing.” Spec. Forum of Canadian Literature 242 (2021): 118-143. 

“Vietnam, War, and the Global Imagination.” Spec. issue of Canadian Review of American Studies 48.3 (2018). Eds. Tim August, Evyn Lê Espiritu, and Vinh Nguyen.

Articles & Book Chapters

“Representing Sanctuary: On Flatness and Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre” Migration and Society 4 (2021): 47-61.  

“Refugeetude: When Does a Refugee Stop Being a Refugee?” Social Text 139, 37.2 (2019): 109-131.  

“A Journey to Freedom: Human Rights Discourse and Refugee Memory.” The Subject(s) of Human Rights: Crises, Violations, and Asian/American Critique. Eds. Cathy Schlund-Vials, Guy Beauregard, and Hsiu-chuan Lee. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2019: 74-92.  

“Commemorating Freedom: The Fortieth Anniversary of the ‘Fall of Saigon’ in Canada” Canadian Review of American Studies 48.3 (2018): 464-486. 

“Vietnamese Canadian Refugee Aesthetics.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature and Culture. Ed. Josephine Lee, Floyd Cheung, Jennifer Ho, Anita Mannur, and Cathy Schlund-Vials. Oxford UP.  

“Queer Intimacy and the Impasse: Reconsidering My Beautiful Laundrette.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 48.2 (2017): 155-66. 

“Refugeography in ‘Post-Racial’ America: Bao Phi’s Activist Poetry.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 41.3 (2016): 171-93. 

“Ann Hui’s Boat People: Documenting Vietnamese Refugees in Hong Kong.” Looking Back on the Vietnam War: Twenty-First Century Perspectives. Eds. Brenda M. Boyle and Jeehyun Lim. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2016. 94-109. 

“Nước/Water: Oceanic Spatiality and the Vietnamese Diaspora.” Migration by Boat: discourses of trauma, exclusion, and survival. Ed. Lynda Mannik. New York: Berghahn Books, 2016. 65-79. 

“Mẹ-search, Hauntings, and Critical Distance.” Life Writing 12.4 (2015): 467-77. 

“Refugee Gratitude: Narrating Success and Intersubjectivity in Kim Thúy’s Ru.” Canadian Literature 219 (2013): 17-36. 

Fellowships and Awards

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant 

  • John C. Polanyi Prize for Literature 

  • Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction 

  • SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship 

  • Harry Lyman Hooker Doctoral Fellowship 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • Asian Diaspora Literatures and Cultures 

  • War, Refugee, and Migration Studies 

  • Affect theory 

  • Queer Studies  

  • Cultural Studies