A message from Principal Wendy Fletcher
Please join me in welcoming Vinh Nguyen to Renison University College, and who will be joining us on July 1, 2015. Vinh was born in Ho Chi Minh City and immigrated to Canada at the age of eleven. Currently, he is completing his doctorate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where he also holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Vinh will join as Assistant Professor of Diasporic Literatures in English, and will be cross-appointed in the Departments of Humanities and East Asian Studies.
Vinh will also be a member of the English Discipline Group, and a faculty member associated with the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. He will be offering a variety of English courses on behalf of Renison and will contribute to the delivery of the undergraduate programs in English, which under the AFIW agreement are jointly delivered by Renison, St. Jerome's, and main campus English faculty.
Vinh’s dissertation, Diasporic Feelings: Refugee Subjectivity and the War in Vietnam, “examines how the ‘figure of the refugee’ 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.”
He has a number of future projects in mind as well. Traces of Empire, Subjects of War, a comparative study of American imperialism in Asia. In particular, it will take four major imperialist wars in Asia—the Philippine-American War (1899-1902), the Pacific War (1941-1945), the War in Korea (1950-1953), and the War in Viet Nam (1955-1975)—as coordinates from which to explore the displacement, migration, and formation of Asian- American subjectivities and communities. The Sexuality of Asylum, on the other hand, considers the kinds of sexual identity narratives that asylum seekers tell to various institutions—the government, the media, and the general public—and how they are received. Vinh is interested in how particular understandings of sexuality, citizenship, and belonging are deployed, entangled, and produced in these narratives. How do they reinforce or challenge the organizing framework of the liberal, heteronormative nation-state? How can storytelling aid asylum seekers in making sense of their own lives and experiences?
We are delighted that this most promising young scholar is joining us here. Welcome to the Renison community, Vinh!