Colloquium with Professor Ly Thuy Nguyen (Augsburg University)

Monday, November 1, 2021
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM (Pacific Time)
Registration Required

Image for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button

In January 2021, the defunct South Vietnamese flag was featured prominently on American national platforms because of its appearance alongside the white supremacist mob stomping Capitol Hill. A puzzling image for the American public, it revokes the haunting memory of the Vietnam War, and to many Vietnamese Americans activists, an underexamined difficult history of South Vietnamese refugee activism in the last thirty years––particularly, the public's increasing conflation between Vietnam War era anticommunism with America's deepening of right-wing conservatism.
Addressing these concerns, this talk will delineate a different genealogy of Vietnamese/American activism: the political and cultural work amongst Vietnamese refugee descendants. It examines how they navigate the intersection of American structural forgetting, war memory, and intergenerational trauma. In doing so, on the one hand, this talk will explors the vast range of refugee political subjectivities––something willfully obscured by Vietnam War historiography. Relatedly, it centers Vietnamese/American radical activism to disrupt the overarching damage-oriented discourse about war refugees. Finally, focusing on refugee descendants, the talk will present a long-overdue examination of the activists and artists of the "generation after" who actively engage with the past to imagine a chosen future without harm.
Ly Thuy Nguyen (she/they) is a bilingual queer scholar, translator, and artist. Ly studies transnational histories of war, race, and empire. Her research incorporates discussions about culture, language, queer dis/inheritance, refugee epistemologies, transnational activism, and intergenerational trauma. Ly's scholarship is based on their work fostering social and language justice within the Vietnamese/ American community and beyond. Ly is currently an Assistant Professor in Asian American Studies and a founding faculty of the Department of Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies at Augsburg University. For more information, visit


To register for the talk, click here.

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American Studies Department