Duy Lap Nguyen
World Cultures and Literatures
620 Agnes Arnold Hall
- Ph.D. University of California, Irvine – Comparative Literature, 2012
- B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
- Critical theory, visual Studies, Vietnamese studies, world cinema and literature
The Unimagined Community: Imperialism and Culture in South Vietnam (Manchester University Press, February 2020).
The Unimagined Community proposes a fundamental reexamination of the Vietnam War from a perspective that has been largely excluded from historical accounts of the conflict, that of the South Vietnamese. Challenging the conventional view that the war was a struggle between the Vietnamese people and US imperialism, the study presents a wide-ranging investigation of South Vietnamese culture, from political philosophy and psychological warfare to popular culture and film. Beginning with a genealogy of the concept of a Vietnamese “culture,” as the latter emerged during the colonial period, the book concludes with a reflection on the rise of popular culture during the American intervention. Reexamining the war from the South Vietnamese perspective, The unimagined community pursues the provocative thesis that the conflict, in this early stage, was not an anti-communist crusade, but a struggle between two competing versions of anticolonial communism.
Journal of Asian Studies
“A wide-ranging work of original historical research, critical theory, and cultural criticism, this volume by Nguyen (Univ. of Houston) reexamines the political and cultural history of the Vietnam War from the largely excluded perspective of the South Vietnamese. Disputing the widely held representation of the war as a contest between Vietnamese people and US imperialism, The Unimagined Community provocatively argues that, in its early stage, the war was not an anti-communist crusade but a struggle between two competing versions of anti-colonial communism. Providing an extended analysis of the culture of the early South Vietnamese republic, ranging from its political philosophy and psychological warfare to its popular culture and films, the book deftly shows that the war was a contest between two Vietnamese states that embraced two different conceptions of communism: one based on the dictatorship of the proletariat and the other on socialism without the state. Nguyen convincingly argues that in its nine years of existence, the early South Vietnamese state sought to establish a Marxist, humanist nation that favored a stateless form of democracy and rural autonomy-a remarkable political experiment against both capitalism and liberal democracy.”
(Reprinted with permission from Choice Reviews. All rights reserved. Copyright by the American Library Association.) Y. L. Espiritu, University of California San Diego
Walter Benjamin and the Critique of Political Economy: A New Historical Materialism (under contract with Bloomsbury Press Critical Theory in Contemporary Society Series)
This project proposes a reading of the relationship between the messianic conception of history developed in Walter Benjamin’s writings and Karl Marx’s critique of political economy.
- “Universal History and Immanent Critique in Anti-Oedipus .” Philosophy Today (Winter 2019).
- “ Stupidity and the Threshold of Life, Language and Law in Derrida and Agamben.” Derrida Today (May 2019).
- “Tourism and the Irony of Colonial Underdevelopment in Nhất Linh’s ‘Going to the West.’” Studies in Travel Writing (July 2019).
- “ Alternate Histories of Korean National Sovereignty in 2009: Lost Memories .” Science Fiction Studies (2017).
- “ Surveillance and Spectacle in Bùi Anh Tuấn’s Z.28 Novels .” positions: asia critique, 2018).
- “Sovereignty, Surveillance and Spectacle in the Saigon Fabulous Four.” Surveillance in Asian Cinema: Under Eastern Eyes. Stanford University Press.
- “ Against Autonomy: Capitalism Beyond Quantification in the Autonomist Reading of Marx.” ( Postmodern Culture, 2015).
- “ The Suspension of History and the Total Transformation of Labor.” Thesis Eleven, 2015.
- “ The Angel of History and the Commodity Fetish: Walter Benjamin and the Marxian Critique of Capital.” Constellations, 2015.
- “ Capitalism and Primal History in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project. ” Differences, 2014.
- “ The Universal Province of Modernity: A Critique of Provincializing Europe.” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 2013.
- “ Le Capital Amoureux : Imaginary Wealth and Revolution and Jean Genet’s Prisoner of Love , ” in Historical Materialism 18 (2010).
- “ Uses of Disposable Time in the National Liberation Front,” in Public Culture, 2009.
- “Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism.” ( Russian Journal of Communication, Vol. 6, Issue 2, 2014).
- “Arcades.” Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition. London: Wiley-Blackwell (accepted).
- Introduction to World Cinema