Cindy Nguyen is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities in the department of History. She earned her Ph.D. in History at University of California, Berkeley (2019). She specializes in the history of Vietnam, Southeast Asia print culture, and libraries. Her book manuscript, "Reading and Misreading: The Social Life of Libraries and Colonial Control in Vietnam, 1865-1958" examines the cultural and political history of libraries in Hanoi and Saigon from the French colonial period through to the decolonization of libraries. She examines the institution of the libraries through the lens of cultural imperialism, national legitimacy, and social practices of public reading. Through her historical study, she reveals how the library reading room became a space of urban sociability, literary cosmopolitanism, and self-directed education. She approaches history through a critical lens of ‘builders and users’ to understand the multifaceted roles of library actors (librarians, readers, technicians, administrators) to shape meanings of libraries, the public, and literacy in 20th century Vietnam. Her research topic and theoretical approach draws from an interdisciplinary training and work experience—as an area studies specialist, multilingual scholar, and digital humanist (information science, libraries, and archives work experience). Her other interests include memory and translation, arts activism, information literacy, and digital humanities. Her teaching fields include Southeast Asia, comparative empires, history of information and classification, memory and diaspora, print culture and history of the book.
Come speak with me in my office at Sharpe House 221: Sign up for appointment slot with Professor Cindy Nguyen