Cindy A. Nguyen

Southeast Asian Area Studies Specialist

Digital Humanist & Historian


2013-2019       University of California, Berkeley

Dissertation Title: “Reading and Misreading: The Social Life of Libraries and Colonial Control in Vietnam, 1865-1958”

Advisor: Professor Peter Zinoman

Primary Field in Southeast Asia

  • Comprehensive area studies training in history, politics, and culture of Southeast Asia (pre-modern to modern) with a focus on modern Vietnam
  • Directed by Professor Peter Zinoman (Vietnam) and Associate Professor Penelope Edwards (Cambodia)

Second Field in Knowledge Systems: Classification & Colonial Knowledge

  • Comparative and thematic field on history of knowledge, information, and classification
  • Directed by Associate Professor Janaki Bakhle (South Asia) and Professor Cathryn Carson (Historian of Science and Technology)

Outside Field in Digital Humanities & Data Science

  • Interdisciplinary methodology and project development using text analysis, library and information sciences, computational analysis, machine learning, and natural language processing
  • Directed by Assistant Professor David Bamman (School of Information)


2011-2013       Michigan State University

Master of Arts in History – Southeast Asia

Advisor: Charles Keith


2006-2010       University of California, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Arts in History and Southeast Asian Studies; Minors: Global Studies, Political Science


2019                LA Review of Books, Publishing Workshop and Incubator+

2019                NEH Institute at the East-West Center, Honolulu, “Colonial Experiences and their Legacies in Southeast Asia”

2018                National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Writing Fellowship

2017                Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship– Vietnam & France

2016-2017       Fulbright Institute of International Education US Student Fellowship– Vietnam

2016                École française d’Extrême-Orient Field Scholarship in the Hanoi Centre

2016                D. Kim History of Science in East Asia Fellowship

2014-2015       Digital Humanities at Berkeley Collaborative Research Award

2014, 2016      Institute for East Asian Studies Digital History Research Fellowship

2014                Foreign Language Area Studies: Vietnamese, Vietnamese Language Studies, Saigon

2013-2019       University of California, Berkeley University Regents-Intern Fellowship

2012                FUTH Graduate Summer School and Scholarship at Hanyang University, Seoul Korea

2011-2016       Michigan State University Graduate School Enrichment Fellowship

2010                Foreign Language Area Studies: Vietnamese, University of Madison, Wisconsin

2010                Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Fellow


2019                “Reading Culture: The Material and Social History of Libraries in Colonial Vietnam,” ConfirmedPanel on “The Concept of Culture in Vietnam”, Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, Denver, 21-24 March

2018                “Technologies of Information: Libraries, Publishing, and Propaganda in Wartime Indochina (1908-1945),” Columbia University Wartime Asia Workshop, 5 October

2018                “Reading and Misreading: From Temple of European Knowledge to Public Space of Vietnamese Modernity and Social Life in the Central Library Hanoi, 1919-1941,” 13th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia Studies, ARI, National University of Singapore, 23-27 July – Presentation

2017                “Operationalizing Historical Questions: Datafying the Library of Congress Vietnam Collections,” Conference Organizer and Presenter, Texts as Data- Data as Texts Seminar and Workshop at Yonsei University, Seoul, 12 January – Organized Seminar, Led Lecture & Discussion

2016                “Lịch sử Thư viện Việt Nam 1887-1986: Phương pháp tiếp cận nghiên cứu của đại học Hoa kỳ” (History of Libraries in Vietnam: American Research Methods), Lecture, Vietnam National University(Đại học Quốc gia Hà Nội – Trường Đại học Khoa học Xã hội và Nhân văn), Hanoi, Vietnam, 23 December

2016                “Lịch sử Thư viện Việt Nam 1887-1986” (A Survey of Libraries in Vietnam in the 20thCentury) Lecture, Institute of Social Sciences Information(Viện thông tin khoa học xã hội), Hanoi, Vietnam, 4 November

2015                “Invisible Authorship: New Perspectives on Translation and Colonial Texts,” Poster, Digital Humanities Faire, University of California, Berkeley, 8 April

2013                Digital Humanities “Sorting Things Out” Workshop at Umea University, HUMlab, Umea, Sweden 5-6 December

2013                “Finding Civilization: A Discursive Study of Vietnamese Student Migration to France,” Panel Cultures & Society in Migration, Michigan State University Migration without Boundaries Conference, East Lansing, 4-5 October

2013                “Movement and Gender: Representations of Tourism in Late Colonial Vietnam,” Panel Traffic: Travel, Translation, and Illicit Trade in Colonial Indochina, Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, San Diego, 21-24 March

2012                “Travel and Translation through Vietnamese Travel Stories Du Ký,” “Borders of Knowledge” International Graduate Student Summer School,Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH)- Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, 15-18 July


2017                Art Publication: “Train/Xe lửa” Bi-lingual poetry on History, Memory, and Language in independent Vietnamese and global publisher AJAR PRESS,issue 5, song song || para||el, Fall

2016                Translation (Vietnamese to English): “The Library of the French School of the Far East” by Ngô Thế Long, Thư viện Học viện Viễn Đông Bác cổ, Tạp chí Thông tin Khoa học xã hội, No.7, 2016. Translated by Cindy A. Nguyen.

2014                Book Review:“The Cost of Progress,” of Luc Xi: Prostitution and Venereal Disease in Colonial Hanoiby Shaun Kingsley Malarney, International Institute of Asian Studies, 22 October 2014, New Asia Books

2013                Book Chapter in Edited Volume: “’A Xu/Sou for the Students:’ A Discourse Analysis of Vietnamese Student Migration to France in the Late Colonial Period” in ” The Question of Return: Leaving, Arriving, and Returning in an Age of Transnational Migration, ed. Michiel Baas, Amsterdam University Press, 2013

2011                Journal Article: “Beyond Betrayal: ‘Collaboration’ in Early 20thCentury Vietnam,” Columbia East Asia Review, Volume 4, Spring 2011.


2016-Present    Co-Principal Investigator, “Deconstructing Libraries: A Dual Approach to Historical Research and Machine Learning” Library of Congress Data Science Project – Report

2014-Present    Co-Principal Investigator, “Vietnamese Intellectual Networks Database”, funded through NEH UC Berkeley Digital Humanities Fellowship

2014-2015       Research Project and Presenter, On Examining a Peripheral Text:Henri Oger & Technique du Peuple Annamite”- Poster

2013                Presenter and Participant, “Visualizing Vietnamese Print Culture and Print Industry,” Digital History School, Umea University Sweden

2013                Visualization and Research Lead,Detroit Digital” Cultural Heritage Informatics Field School, Michigan State University


2016-2017       Working Group, École française d’Extrême-Orient, Hanoi Centre

Multi-lingual (French, Vietnamese, and English) research group with Professor Andrew Hardy

2013-Present    Co-Director and Member,Berkeley Digital Humanities Working Group

Directed Digital Humanities Working Group (2013-2016), Coordinated the cross campus and bay area Digital Humanities Faire at UC Berkeley (2015), NEH funded Digital Humanities Fellow at Berkeley (2014-2015), Participated in Bay area Digital Humanities workshops and events (present)

2014-2015       Digital History Coordinator, UC Berkeley History Department and Social Science D-Lab

2014-2015       Graduate Student Instructor, UC Berkeley History Department

2014                Translation, Biography of Susan Sontag by Benjamin Moser

2013-2014       Campus Digital Humanities Assistant, Research Information Technologies, UC Berkeley Developed campus-wide initiative for digital humanities research, teaching, and methodology

2012-2013       Research Assistant, Translator, and Area Specialistfor MSU Vietnam Group Archive

Collaborative digitization project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Visualization Lead, “MSU Vietnam Group Archive Timeline

2012-2013       Organizing Boardfor Interdisciplinary Conference on Migration Studies


2018                History & Memory of Vietnamese Refugees: Guest Lecture at Pawcatuck Middle School, CT

2016 Fall         Memory & History:Guest Lecture & Discussion

2015 Spring     History of Mao: Graduate Student Instructor (upper division)

2014 Fall         History of Vietnam: Graduate Student Instructor (upper division)

2014 Fall         Instructional Technology:Pedagogy Talk & Discussion

2008-2011       Academic Peer Learning Supervisor & Facilitator,UCLA Division of Undergraduate EducationSupervised 100 undergraduate tutors for campus-wide Peer Learning Tutoring Services for ESL, Math & Sciences, and Athletics academic support


Artist-Historian: Cross-pollinates between art, technology, and language

2018-Present    Writer,If-Me.orgmental health non-profit and open source project. Essay “An Asian American’s Language of Mental Health”:

2016-Present    Independent Publisher, Arts Curator and Director, HAPTIC PRESS

2016-Present    Artist, “Mẹ, Translated” multimedia film project on translation, memory, refugee communities

2016-Present    Artist and Project Director, “Mis-Reading” multimedia visual art, cross-genre and community project on feminism and empowerment


  • Vietnamese: Native fluency in reading, speaking, advanced writing
  • French: Intermediate reading, speaking, writing
  • Data & Databases:Relational Databases, Open Office, Open Refine
  • Content Management Systems:Drupal, WordPress
  • Design:Adobe InDesign, book layout, independent publishing
  • Visual Art:Film, Photography
  • Project Management, Digital Research Project Consulting, Startup & Organization Operations