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Welcome! I am Jason Nguyen, a graduate student in ethnomusicology at Indiana University, Bloomington, and this blog is where I make observations about music, culture, and academic life.

About Me

Tiếng Việt | English

Jason on violin

I am a dual-PhD student in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, Bloomington.  I received a B.A. in Biology in 2006 from Wake Forest University, but the discrepancy between that and my current academic work is a story too long to be told here.  I also received an MA in Ethnomusicology from the IU Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. My Masters thesis is publicly available [open access] here: “Staging Vietnamese America: Music and the Performance of Vietnamese American Identities.”

If you were to pin me down to a single focus, it would be research into “the social and cultural labor of people who self-identify as Vietnamese,” although my interests have also led me to look at Asian-Americans generally as well as new media technologies and global media flows.  These broad topics have led me to examine issues concerning identity, representation, politics and power, cultural policy, and meaning production. I have also started a secondary project unrelated to Vietnamese identity, focusing on the online community that has developed around adult fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, who call themselves “bronies” (a portmanteau of “bro” and “pony”). That ongoing research, a collaboration w/ fellow IU Ethnomusicology doctoral student Kurt Baer, is publicly accessible at ResearchIsMagic.org. Finally, my research and teaching has also led me to think more broadly about discourses of modernity and new media, particularly as they overlap with neoliberal and financial interest. My students and I are currently exploring those ideas in a course of my design, “Social Media Capital,” which has a blog.

In my time outside of academic scholarship, I am an avid musician performing on both the violin and “traditional” Vietnamese instruments such as dan bau (monochord), dan nhi (two-string fiddle), and dan nguyet (moon-shaped lute).  I have studied violin with Hong Mei Zhou (Winston-Salem Symphony, NC) and Dr. Jacqui Carrasco (Wake Forest University), and I continue to study Vietnamese traditional music with Master Pham Duc Thanh.

Jason on Dan Bau


Curriculum Vitae

Contact Me

Twitter: @jasonrnguyen

Email / Google Talk: jrn [at] jrnguyen [dot] com