SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPERTS
Nina Hien is a cultural anthropologist with expertise in media studies, visual culture, and art of the United States and Southeast Asia. Nina has a special interest in Vietnam, the country where her father grew up, and has conducted ethnographic research for many years in Ho Chi Minh City. There she focused on the use of photography as a modern practice and technology and sought to understand how the Vietnamese comprehend visual images. Nina earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University. Her most recent publications include two essays in the Trans Asia Photography Review about documentary photography and digital photo retouching in Vietnam. She has also written about Vietnamese food, culture, and globalization, in such publications as a book chapter in Food: Ethnographic Encounters, edited by Leo Coleman. She currently teaches at New York University at the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Masters Program in Humanities and Social Thought and at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study.