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Patricia Nguyen

Assistant Professor of American Studies
Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:00pm-3:00pm | Wilson Hall 121 (and by appointment via zoom)

Office Address: Wilson Hall 122

Education: Ph.D. Performance Studies, Northwestern University

Patricia Nguyen, Ph.D. is an artist, educator, and scholar born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently an Assistant Professor in American Studies at the University of Virginia. Her research and performance work examines the intersections between the military and prison industrial complex, forced migration, oral histories, inherited trauma, torture, and nation building in the United States and Southeast Asia. Through embodied research, performance, installation, and community happenings she explores ecologies of migration, incarceration, asylum, borders, and war to reveal histories of violence and create abolitionist futures. She has published work in AmerasiaWomen Studies Quarterly, Harvard Kennedy School's Asian American Policy Review, Women and Performance, Journal of Asian American Studies, and The Funambulist.

Dr. Nguyen has over 15 years of experience working in arts education, community development, and human rights in the United States, Brazil, and Vietnam. She has facilitated trainings and workshops with the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project, 96 Acres, Kuumba Lynx, Young Cultural Stewards with the Chicago Park District, the Fulbright Program, American Center at the U.S. Embassy, Jane Addams Hull House, Christina Noble Foundation, Social Workers Association in Vietnam, and Asian Human Services, Illinois Humanities Envisioning Justice, #LetUsBreathe Collective on issues ranging from incarceration, contemporary art, forced migration, mental health, youth empowerment, and language access. 

As a performance artist, she has performed at the Nha San Collective in Vietnam, Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, Jane Addams Hull House, Links Hall, Milwaukee Art Museum, Prague Quadrennial, Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.  She is co-founder and lead artist of Axis Lab, a public art and mutual aid project that focuses on artistic and gastronomic interventions to advocate for ethical development. In recent news, Dr. Nguyen is an award-winning memorial designer for the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial Project, the first monument in the United States to honor survivors of police violence.