Through our programs, we seek to:

  • Support the creative development process of writing, translation, and literary multimedia projects by writers and artists of the Vietnamese diaspora;

  • Empower diasporic writers and artists to make work on their own terms; to discover/cultivate connectivity and individual vision(s);

  • Promote the multiplicity of voices and stories representing Vietnamese diasporic writers/artists and Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic experience and imaginations, via communication channels, publication, and other means;

  • Connect writers/artists and their works to an audience that encompasses Vietnamese diasporic communities all over the globe, Vietnamese in Vietnam, as well as people from other diasporic and non-Vietnamese communities;

  • Nurture and sustain a dynamic, integrative, multilingual network that fosters dialogues and community amongst writers, readers, and the general public who wish to engage through or around Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic literature and art.


I’m of the belief that anything a Vietnamese artist does is inherently Vietnamese, but is also something else–that it can be and should be universal too. The challenge for us is that, as minorities, we always labor under the double burden of our specificity while attempting to prove our universality. Majority artists get to go straight to the universal and assume that their specificity (as white, straight, wealthy, and so on) is accidental.

We could do that too. But the real opportunity with a double burden is not to try and pretend that it doesn’t exist, or long for the majority privilege of being unburdened, but to invent an art that’s strong enough to carry that double burden.
— Viet Thanh Nguyen

(Quote from diaCRITICS interview “On Diaspora & Culture As Plurality”)




DVAN began in 2007 due to the recognition that Vietnamese Americans were underrepresented compared to other Asian Americans in both the academia and popular culture. Until today, less than 50 books and short story collections by and about Vietnamese Americans have been published by nationally recognized publishers. Vietnamese American filmmakers and visual artists are similarly under-represented. Such selective publishing, film and art world practices prevent the society at large from understanding the complex experiences, history and culture of a growing community, as well as recognize the impact the community has had on society. Our vision is that, by coming together as a group across national boundaries, we can bring forth new ideas about identity and citizenship. Ultimately, we aim to be active agent of social change by encouraging self-determination and dialogues for the purpose of healing and full incorporation in the fabric of society.