Claire Nguyễn

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20212022 Forum on Migration

Claire Nguyễn

History; Minors in Asian American Studies and English

CAS, 2022

A senior studying History with minors in Asian American Studies and English, Claire Nguyễn is a Wolf Humanities Fellow and an Andrea Mitchell Center Fellow for the 2021-2022 school year. She immerses herself in several Southeast Asian and Asian diasporic spaces including the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board, the Penn Vietnamese Students’ Association, Penn Sangam, and the UC Berkeley Southeast Asian Student Coalition. They are also a youth and anti-deportation organizer with the local grassroots organization VietLead, resisting to free formerly incarcerated Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants from ICE detention and deportation. In their free time, Claire enjoys watercolor painting, musical theater, cooking with copious amounts of garlic, and (un)learning to build a world free from all forms of violence.

(Dis)placed: A History of Vietnamese Refugee Americans in San Jose, California, 1975-1999

Drawing from oral histories and archival material, this project will document how the War on Drugs and the War on Crime impacted the newly resettled Vietnamese refugee community in San Jose, California through the flash point of the 1991 San Jose Police Department “Asian mugbook” scandal. In tandem with the community’s physical and political development in Eastside San Jose as anti-communist, neoliberal sociopolitical beings, the criminalization of Vietnamese refugees—and their contemporary deportability—subvert liberal narratives placed upon the inclusion of Vietnamese refugees in American society, demonstrating the continued influence of U.S. imperialism on the diaspora’s psyche and material conditions through ongoing racialized “wars” since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.