Tag Archives: research

Introduction to Cindy Nguyen

I’m originally from Los Angeles and in a little over a month I will move back to California for the Ph.D. program in Southeast Asian history at Berkeley. In my time here at Michigan State, I finished an M.A. in history, experienced ‘seasons’ for the first time, and developed a curiosity for digital humanities. My work on the MSU Vietnam Group Archive, a digitization project spearheaded by the MSU Department of History, MSU Archives & Historical Collections, and MATRIX, initially sparked my interest/confusion of the possible combination of ‘digital’ and ‘humanities.’I particularly enjoy the collaborative nature of many digital humanities projects including the Vietnam Group Archive. I’m still learning about this wonderfully exciting world of dh resources, events, and centers, and hope that this summer’s field school will continue to broaden my understanding.

 I am also interested in the methodological possibilities of digital humanities in the representation of space and movement. My current research explores the flourishing culture of Vietnamese travel embodied by the surge in travel stories (du ký) and advertisements published primarily in romanized Vietnamese newspapers between the 1920s and 1940s. With the work of data crunching and GIS software, I hope to also ‘translate’ the textual representations of travel into a visualization of Vietnamese movement more broadly from the 16th century to 20th century. In this wider comparison of the rich sources of precolonial and colonial travel stories, maps, and itineraries, I seek to shed light upon the distinct changes and literary continuity over time. I believe that digital tools, larger data sets, and GIS can be useful tools for textual based research and can help bridge to the divide between ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ research. For more on my research, see my Academia.edu page.