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Oral History of Dang Nguyen
Nguyen, Dang
Nguyen, Annie
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC Irvine, Libraries, Southeast Asian Archive
Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History project
Rights Information
This material is provided for private study, scholarship, or research. Transmission or reproduction of any material protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Contact the University of California, Irvine Libraries, Special Collections and Archives for more information (
Scope/Content: This is an oral history of Mr. Dang Nguyen. He was born in Da Nang, Vietnam in 1964. After the Fall of Saigon and the communist takeover in 1975, his father was imprisoned in a reeducation camp. In 1981, when he had just finished high school in Vietnam, he and his younger sister made their escape by boat. After three days at sea, he was processed at the Pulau Bidong refugee camp in Malaysia, where they stayed for seven months. His aunt and uncle in Akron, Ohio were able to sponsor him. After a year living in Ohio, he moved to Santa Ana, California where he pursued an Electronic Technician certificate at Santa Ana College. Through his work in an assembly line at a factory, he was able to sponsor his father and brother to California. His mother arrived via the Orderly Departure Program. He later moved on to the California State University of Long Beach to receive a Bachelors of Science in Engineering. Since then, he has worked in the computer-engineering field and is now a manager. He got married in 1993 and has three children. As of this interview, Mr. Dang Nguyen and his family live in Tustin, California.
Scope/Content: At what point in time can one pinpoint the beginning of Vietnamese America? Does it begin with the Fall of Saigon? Does it begin with the creation of Little Saigons throughout America? In looking to define Vietnamese American experiences, do we limit what it has been and what it could be? Whatever the entry point, experiences of Vietnamese Americans are inextricably tangled with the political, economic, and social structures of racial, class, and gender hierarchy in the United States and notions of authenticity and nationalism. Thus, to begin learning what the Vietnamese American experience entails, is to also begin unlearning. This course seeks to understand, unravel and complicate what Vietnamese America is through a critical refugee and critical race lens. By analyzing various issues, we are able to see how Vietnamese Americans are affected by larger societal forces such as capitalism and imperialism. This course aims to: 1. To introduce the student to the history, culture, and contemporary experiences of Vietnamese Americans, highlighting how power and privilege entangles them all together. 2. Expand current discourse around social issues that affect Vietnamese Americans by using both scientific literature, creative works and scholarly articles. 3. Expose students to the multitude of historical, contemporary and local Vietnamese American narratives, taking advantage of the proximity to one of the largest Little Saigons.
Scope/Content: Dang and Annie, photographer Loann Tran, 2019.
1 mp3 audio file; 1 pdf transcription English; 1 pdf time log; 1 pdf life map; 3 jpg image files
Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) | Assimilation | Boat people | College | University | Communism | Computer scientist | Diaspora | Education | Engineer | English as a second language (ESL) | Family | Family reunification | High school | Higher education | Identity | Immigrant | Integration | Language barrier | Naturalization | Orderly Departure Program (ODP) | Politics | Poverty | Prisoner | Reeducation | Reeducation camp | Refugee camp | Refugee camp (Malaysia) | Remittances | Resettlement | Sponsors | Sponsorship | Student | Tradition | Custom | Youth | California State University, Long Beach | Orange County, California | Pulau Bidong Refugee Camp, Malaysia | Santa Ana, California | Tustin, California | Đà Nẵng (Vietnam) | Saigon (Vietnam)
Time Period
Vietnamese American Experience Class Oral Histories, 2019 Winter

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