Publisher / Founding Editor
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Editor / Managing Editor
Karin Aguilar-San Juan
Julie Thi Underhill
Karin Aguilar-San Juan
Genevieve Erin O’Brien
Nguyen Qui Duc
Nhu Tien Le
Thuy Vo Dang
We are open to discovering new writers and topics throughout the diaspora. We would love to hear from Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic writers all over the globe; we know there are many of you in Australia, France, Scandinavia, Canada, SE Asia, and other places (as well as the U.S., where most of our contributors are currently based). If you are interested in writing essays, interviews or reviews for diaCRITICS, please let us know.
If there are books, films, other art and happenings you think we should be covering, please send us your suggestions.
We also accept submissions of literary and art content for our literary series Out of the Margins. Please send no more than 5-10 pages of poetry, and up to 5000 words of prose; links to art and photo essay samples also welcome. Send as PDF or Word attachments, properly formatted, please.
diaCRITICS is fortunate to be a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books. LARB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts. The LARB Channels are a community of wholly independent online magazines specializing in fiction, poetry, literary criticism, politics, science, religion, and culture, supported by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
diaCRITICS is the blog for the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. DVAN’s mission is to to promote stories from the Vietnamese diaspora, to increase understanding about the diversity and complexities of our experiences and imaginaries across national boundaries.
What is diaCRITICS?
diaCRITICS is the blog for the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN). It was founded by Viet Thanh Nguyen back in 2010. diaCRITICS are also those accent marks in Vietnamese that confuse foreigners learning the language. Ma is ghost. Má is mother. So don’t call your mother a ghost, or a ghost your mother. diaCRITICS are also the bloggers for this site. Get it? A blogger here is a diaCRITIC. diaCRITICS write about anything and everything related to the arts and culture of the Vietnamese in their homeland or in the diaspora.
For diaCRITICS, the diaspora also includes other Southeast Asian countries and may extend into the Asian diaspora and/or address current diasporic concerns at large. We aim to write about diasporic matters that are relevant, both of now and the past. Music, film, literature, fashion, food, visual arts, multimedia, hybridity in many forms, you name it. Oh yeah, maybe politics too. And history. And any good story that comes our way. Have we forgotten something? Let us know. diaCRITICS also write about the ways that other people write about the Vietnamese and diasporic people. Watch out. We reserve the right to be angry, to be discerning. Something somebody wrote or said or filmed about the Vietnamese got you angry? Or maybe just amused? Let us know. And what if a Vietnamese person somewhere in the world says or does something stupid? diaCRITICS don’t like that, either. It happens. Let us know.
What is diaspora?
So diaCRITICS is the blog for the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. But what’s a diaspora? It comes from Jewish history. The Jews were cast out of their homeland and formed a Diaspora of people scattered over many countries. Now there are many Diasporas, driven out for all kinds of reasons. The Vietnamese Diaspora is where it is mostly because Viet Nam was occupied by the French, then occupied by Americans, then divided in two, then reunified into one at great cost to the other. Other Southeast Asian countries like Laos and Cambodia were also significantly affected by these events. So now we have Vietnamese and Southeast Asians in the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Israel, England, Russia and many more countries. Basically we have Vietnamese all over the world. For some, Viet Nam is always home. For some, the country where they’re at is home. For some, they will never go home. For some, the whole world is home. We are interested in representing stories that acknowledge the vast range of multiplicities and definitions of home and diaspora.
Semantics & Credits
We write in English, French, Vietnamese, in words, images, song sometimes, and also with the breath and textures of the spaces in-between.
You can write in any language you wish when you comment, but no insults, obscenities, personal attacks, flame wars or other rude behavior will be tolerated.
The Other Diacritic
“diacritic” is not a word that anyone owns (as is the truth of diasporas & countries too, ultimately). But we wish to give a shout-out to the artist Richard Streitmatter-Tran who was the first diacritic in our diasporic circle, with his great site diacritic.org, which is about “Art Culture Media Criticism” from “Southeast Asia and Beyond.” Check it out!