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Dr. Dat M. Nguyen

Biography

Dr. Dat M. Nguyen is a postdoctoral researcher at the NIOD institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from Boston University. His research focuses on religion, ethics, care, and war trauma in postwar late-socialist Vietnam. At the NIOD, he is contributing to the project, Bones of Contention: Technologies of Identification and the Politics of Reconciliation in Vietnam, led by Dr. Tam Ngo. His work examines the intersections between religion and the commemoration of fallen and Missing-in-Action soldiers in southern Vietnam. It seeks to elucidate how religious actors and institutions shape the discourses and practices of postwar remembrance and reconciliation.

Dr. Nguyen is currently writing a book manuscript provisionally titled, Crafting a Buddhist Public: Urban Buddhism and Youth Aspirations in Late-Socialist Vietnam. The book explores the recent proliferation of Buddhist educational programs for youth in Ho Chi Minh City and its implications for urban public life. It sheds light on the complex entanglements between Buddhism and market socialism, as well as the role of youth in the transformation of urban Vietnamese Buddhism. He has published part of his findings in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies (2020) and the Journal of Global Buddhism (forthcoming).

From his postdoctoral research, Dr. Nguyen is developing a second book project investigating the provision of medical, psychological, and spiritual care for veterans in postwar Vietnam. He is also working with an international research team to develop comparative research on the environmental impacts of warfare, including the effects of Agent Orange on family and community livelihoods and the recent international efforts to remediate sites of dioxin contamination across Vietnam.

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