Email Email

Catherine H. Nguyen is a comparative literature scholar of the Vietnamese diaspora. Her scholarship encompasses Asian American studies, critical refugee studies, critical adoption studies, and Global Asias. Nguyen’s project Children Born of War, Adoptees Made by War focuses on the mixed-race child and the transracial adoptee from the longue durée of the Indochina Wars to their refugee aftermaths. Examining documentary films, memoirs, and literary works of the Vietnamese diaspora produced in French and English, the project explores how the mixed-race child as subject complicates the categories of refugee and adoptee and simultaneously undermines the expected gratitude with acts of hostility.

Nguyen's work has appeared in Adoption & Culture and in edited volumes on multiethnic graphic novels and postmigratory Francophone literature. Current research projects include interrogations of diaspora and resettlement, Cold War Asias, and form and figuration. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Program as well as grants from the Harvard University Asia Center and the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities at Harvard. Previously, Nguyen was a postdoctoral fellow of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard and an American Council of Learned Societies fellow. Nguyen serves on the AAPI Covid-19 Project and is a member of the Asie du Sud Est Research Network.

Nguyen’s teaching spans Asian American and Asian diasporic literatures, race and ethnic studies, narratives of war and displacement, and graphic novels and visual cultures. She has taught courses on the Vietnam War, migrant and refugee narratives, and empire and postcolonial literature and culture. Prior to joining Emerson College, Nguyen was a lecturer on History and Literature at Harvard University.



B.A., University of California, Irvine
Masters, Universite de Provence, Aix-Marseille I
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles


Adoption and the Work of Adaptation in Jung’s Couleur de peau: miel

Adoption & Culture, “Visual Adoptions” Special Issue 8.1

Illustrating Diaspora: History and Memory in Vietnamese American and French Graphic Novels

Redrawing the Historical Past: History, Memory, and Multiethnic Graphic Novels, Eds. Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Martha Cutter, University of Georgia Press

Viet Nam by Removes: Minh Tran Huy and 2nd Generation Vietnamese French Literature

Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France, Eds. Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck, Liverpool University Press