Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her first book, called The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages, focuses on the promise of “giving” freedom concurrent and contingent with waging war (Duke University Press, 2012; Outstanding Book Award in Cultural Studies from the Association of Asian American Studies, 2014). She is also co-editor with Fiona I.B. Ngo and Mariam Lam of a special issue of positions on Southeast Asian American Studies (20:3, Winter 2012), and co-editor with Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu of Alien Encounters: Pop Culture in Asian America (Duke University Press, 2007).
Her following project is called The Promise of Beauty. She has also published in Signs, Camera Obscura, Women & Performance, positions, and Radical History Review. Nguyen was recently named a Conrad Humanities Scholar for 2013-2018, a designation supporting the work of outstanding associate professors in the humanities within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois.
Nguyen has made zines since 1991, including Slander (formerly known by other titles) and the compilation zine Race Riot. She is a former Punk Planet columnist and Maximumrocknroll volunteer. Her columns are archived at thread & circuits. She is also co-author of the (mostly retired) research blog on dress and beauty threadbared. In June 2013, Sarah McCarry's Guillotine ("a series of erratically published chapbooks focused on revolutionary non-fiction") released PUNK, a conversation between Nguyen and Golnar Nikpour. She toured with other zine makers of color in 2012 and 2013, and continues to organize events and shows with and for POC punks.