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 is The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Duke University Press, 2012; Outstanding Book Award in Cultural Studies from the Association of Asian American Studies, 2014). 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 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. She is now a John A. and Grace W. Nicholson Professorial Scholar for 2017-2020, a University of Illinois designation supporting research excellence in philosophical inquiry.
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. 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.