20th- and 21st-century Francophone literature and culture; diaspora and migration narratives, particularly of the Vietnamese diaspora; critical refugee studies; human rights; education; food and foodways
I am a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in French, primarily interested in refugitude aesthetics, care, and the stakes and politics of representation in 20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone literature, especially of the Vietnamese diaspora. My approaches to these issues have been particularly indebted to scholarship in critical refugee studies, contemporary affect theory, and ocean studies.
My research is currently supported by Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship, through which I am developing a dissertation project that combines archival research and literary analysis with community oral histories to foreground refugee experiences and epistemologies. Through this project, I aim to uncover intergenerational approaches to a politics of care, with a focus on a primordial act of care in the Vietnamese diaspora: feeding. Coming from a family of immigrants and refugees, I strongly believe in the critical power of “me-search” (cf. Nguyen 2014). I consider the intersections and tensions of my own identity (as Vietnamese/Korean/Chinese American) and personal histories as inextricable from a critical approach to literary and historical study.
Prior to coming to Berkeley, I received my B.A. from Hamilton College in 2018 where I simultaneously completed individual honors theses for French and Literature, both exploring the relationship between language and racial/identity formation in Asian diaspora literature (Franco/Québécois-Vietnamese and Korean American respectively). I also spent a year in Paris through Hamilton in France, studying at l’Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle – Paris III, and another year in the Occitanie region of France as a high school assistant de langue through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).
When I am not poring over experimental literary aesthetics, I am experimenting in the kitchen, trying new restaurants in the Bay Area, or singing my heart out in karaoke with friends.