Vietnam, Nationalism, Rituals, Mythology, Colonialism, Identity Construction


Dr. Nguyen grew up by the banks of the Mekong River in the western part of the Mekong Delta known as An Giang, Vietnam, during the American War. After finishing high school in Saigon, Dr. Nguyen went to the Sorbonne and University of Aix-en-Provence for her undergraduate and graduate studies. Dr. Nguyen has been teaching at Temple University since 1992. Dr. Nguyen travels back to Vietnam every summer to do research and volunteer teaching especially in Huế, Central Vietnam. Dr. Nguyen's passions; Initially, water, rivers, and their usages, which led to my first book. Dr. Nguyen has always been fascinated by the question of nationalism and identity construction linked to mythology and rituals, their dissemination, the impacts of colonialism and wars, etc., motifs and topics which have been driving her present research. And lastly and forever, the preservation through digitization of ancient documents which are the part of the Vietnamese national heritage that is very likely and quickly disappearing if not protected.

Selected Publications

  • “Ritual, Power, and Pageantry: French Ritual Politics in Monarchical Vietnam,” French Historical Studies.
  • “A Mythographical Journey to Modernity: The Textual and Symbolic Transformations of the Hùng Kings Myths,” The Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
  • “Whose River, Whose Rights? Mekong Projects and Their Environmental Impacts” in International Workshop on Environmental Peace in East Asia, Korean National Commission for UNESCO, Seoul, Korea.
  • “State versus Indigenous Peoples: The Impact of Hydraulic Projects on Indigenous Peoples of Asia,” Journal of World History
  • The Mekong River and the Struggle for Indochina: Water, War, and Peace. Praeger.
  • Culture and Customs of Vietnam (with Mark McLeod). Greenwood Press.

Courses Taught


  • History of the Vietnam Wars (H. 2217)
  • History of Vietnam (H. 3551)
  • Introduction to Southeast Asia (Mainland and Insular) (H. 2504-2503)
  • Third World Issues Through Films (H. 2611)
  • Turning Points-Ancient (H. 0871)
  • Topics in Asian History-Premodern Asia (H. 2680)
  • Third World History (H. 060)


  • Historiography of the Vietnam Wars (8502)
  • Dissertation Colloquium (H. 976)