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Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Quynh H. Vo

Quynh Vo

Dr. Quynh H. Vo is currently a Professorial Lecturer in Critical RGC Studies at the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies, American University. Originally from Vietnam, Dr. Vo currently lives in Washington, D.C. Her research interests focus on globalization and South East Asian literature, Asian American interdisciplinary studies, Vietnamese American literature and culture, and neoliberalism in American transnational literature. Read her story here:

I graduated with a doctorate degree in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2021. My dissertation was entitled: Transnational Kinship: Neoliberal Peace and Economic Violence in Vietnamese American Literature and Culture. My primary research interests are Vietnamese American interdisciplinary studies, specifically in light of literary, cultural, and critical refugee studies. These research trajectories of mine emerge from my consciousness of asymmetrical industries of memory and contested politics that culminate in the under or (mis) representation of Vietnamese American communities in mainstream historical landscapes. Through my research projects, I attempt to fathom how Vietnamese Americans negotiate identities and lived experiences through their politics of representation and cultural formations. My research projects also reach beyond Vietnamese American communities and intersect with histories and politics of other Southeast Asian American communities.

Before joining American University as a Professor of Asia, Pacific, and Diaspora Studies, I taught a graduate course in transnational representation of Southeast Asia for GETSEA (Graduate Education and Training for Southeast Asian Studies) hosted by Cornell University.

At present, I am working on my book manuscript–an interdisciplinary project that weaves together literary analysis and personal narratives to scrutinize Vietnamese Americans’ relationships to Vietnamese nationals; to histories of war, colonialism, and US neoliberal empire; and to each other. My other ongoing project, sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Studies Center and the Pacific Research Institute for Information Systems and Management (PRIISM), is a co-authored book, The Making of Little Saigon: Narratives of Nostalgia, (Dis)enchantment, and Aspirations, in which the authors chronicle stories of community building, social engagement, and relationships between Vietnamese American generations residing in Little Saigon, Orange County, California by interviewing subjects working in different professions and providing recent records about their sociopolitical evolvement over time.

Recent publications:

‘“We were born from beauty”: Motherly Aesthetics and Poetics of Displacement in Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous” in Reclaiming Migrant Motherhood: Identity, Belonging, and Displacement in a Global Context. Lexington Books, 2022. Lombard, Maria D., editor.

“Vietnamese Literature and Ecofeminism” in The Routledge Handbook of Ecofeminism and Literature. Routledge; 1st edition (13 Sept. 2022). Douglas A. Vakoch, editor.

“Review: Other Moons: Vietnamese Short Stories of the American War and Its Aftermath , by Quan Manh Ha and Joseph Babcock.” Journal of Vietnamese Studies, vol. 16, no. 1, Feb. 2021, pp. 189–91. (Crossref),

“Bending the Long Arc of War to a Vision of Peace.” Journal of Vietnamese Studies, vol.16, no. 4, Nov. 2021, pp. 68–89. ttps://

“Creating Audaciously: On Aesthetics, Anger, & Calibrated Hope.” Peace, Land, & Bread, no. 2, pp. 83-91.

Non-academic work:

“Fiery Souls: Poets Tran Da Tu and Nha Ca in Exile” diaCRITICS 

“Thiên đường trong mắt ai?” (In Whose Eyes Is this Paradise?” https://vnex-

“Tự Do, Máu, và Tình Yêu” (Freedom, Blood, and Love) va-tinh-yeu-a5711.html

“In OM, Dang Than Embraces Human Turmoil” vietnam-literature/19422-saigoneer-bookshelf-in-poetry-collec-tion-om,-đặng-thân-ebraces-human-turmoil!

“Cân Bằng Trong Hỗn Loạn” (Chaotic Equilibrium)!

“Bên Lở Một Dòng Sông” ( dong-song/22906

“Nguyễn Thanh Việt: ‘Tôi Muốn Tạo Cho Người Đọc Một Tâm Lý Bất An'” Báo Quốc Tế. an-106526.html

“Đời Người Không Chỉ Gắn Liền Với Một Quê Hương” Da Mau. lien-voi-mot-qu-huong

“Viết Là Hành Trình Cô Đơn Đầy Mê Hoặc” Contemporary Knowledge, 1037, 14-17.

“Home Is Rooted In A Sense of Plurality. An Interview with Andrew Lam” Los Angeles Review of Books. ity-an-interview-with-andrew-lam/

Learn more about Dr. Vo here