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avatar for Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen

THE REFUGEES
Keynote Speaker
Viet Thanh Nguyen is a University Professor, Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and the novel The Sympathizer, from Grove/Atlantic (2015). The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, le Prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book in France), a California Book Award, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. The novel made it to over thirty book-of-the-year lists, including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com, Slate.com, and The Washington Post. The foreign rights have been sold to twenty-seven countries.

He is also the author of Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War from Harvard University Press (2016, foreign rights to four countries), which is the critical bookend to a creative project whose fictional bookend is The Sympathizer. Nothing Ever Dies, a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction, examines how the so-called Vietnam War has been remembered by many countries and people, from the US to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and South Korea. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a powerful reflection on how we choose to remember and forget.” It has won the the John G. Cawelti Award for Best Textbook/Primer from the Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association and the Réné Wellek Prize for the Best Book in Comparative Literature from the American Comparative Literature Association. Foreign rights have been sold to four countries.

His current books are The Refugees, a short story collection from Grove Press (2017, foreign rights to fourteen countries), and The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, which he edited. He is an opinion writer for the New York Times, and has written for Time, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and other venues. Along with Janet Hoskins, he co-edited Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field (University of Hawaii Press, 2014). 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, 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. Most recently he has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations.

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.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, April 3
 

12:30pm EDT