Viet kun profiles

On Wednesday, professors Josh Kun (left) and Viet Thanh khô Nguyen (right) sat down to discuss important topics such as their respective experiences in academia. (Hyeonmi Shin | Daily Trojan)

Professors Viet Thanh hao Nguyen & Josh Kun conversed with colleagues, board members & a handful of students about their respective experiences in the world of academia.

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The event was co-sponsored by “Race, Arts & Placemaking,” a collaborative sầu project supported by the USC Provost Retìm kiếm Collaboration Fund, of which Nguyen and Kun are both members Wednesday at the University Club.

Nguyen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnamese American novecác mục, known for his năm ngoái book “The Sympathizer.” Professionally, Nguyen primarily focuses on the experience of Vietnamese refugees và their navigation through American culture & politics. As a Vietnamese refugee himself, Nguyen’s work is very personal.

Kun, a MacArthur Fellow, is regarded for his critiques of popular music in an academic format. Kun studies music’s relationship with power và identity, particularly in relation khổng lồ race & ethnithành phố.


Nguyen and Kun’s conversation covered a wide range of topics, chiefly their shared beliefs on ethnic studies, và how the two navigate the world of academia with strong interdisciplinary interests & refugees.

Establishing their shared passion for ethnic studies, Nguyen stated that both he and Kun got their starts in ethnic studies, a genealogy that he thinks has substantially informed the work they vì today.

According khổng lồ Nguyen, ethnic studies started picking up around the 1960s. Although decades have sầu passed since this starting point, Kun states that the discipline is a history that has maintained its urgency over the years, a sentiment that Nguyen agrees with. Ethnic studies, to lớn both men, is essential lớn our understanding of the cultural and political world we live sầu in.

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“It is really hard to write about popular music without foregrounding issues of identity và specific liaisons of racism, especially in this U.S. context,” Kun said.

After discussing their accomplished careers to lớn date, the conversation turned toward the topic of refugees.

“It is increasingly urgent khổng lồ address refugees as a local, a national, a global phenomenon because the problem is not going to go away,” Nguyen said.

Through their respective independent research, Nguyen và Kun have discovered that refugees are exceedingly ill-disposed lớn identifying or being labeled as such. In his work with Syrian refugees in Berlin, Kun recalled that people who he conversed with said, “We will only talk to you if you agree khổng lồ refuse that category with us.”

Similarly, while talking to high school students at a public school that has a refugee program in Boise, Idaho, Nguyen found that students were more prone lớn identify as immigrants than refugees.

“There is a stigma attached to being a refugee, even if there are benefits attached lớn it as well,” Nguyen said.

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Despite the wide range of topics covered during the hour, Nguyen và Kun’s conversation ended on a friendly note. Kun fittingly gifted Nguyen a vinyl record from The Refugees, a bvà comprising Vietnamese refugees.

Chuyên mục: Blogs