Border Passages with Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnam)

Monday, April 9, 2018 @ 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Free RSVP 2018-04-09 1 p.m. 2018-04-09 3 p.m. America/New_York Border Passages with Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnam) 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Join us for a live reading, talk-back, and art workshop with Viet Thanh Nguyen presented in partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and the Carnegie Nexus: Becoming Migrant series.


“A major writer with firsthand knowledge of the human rights drama exploding on the international stage—and the talent to give us inroads toward understanding it.”—THE WASHINGTON POST

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen can’t remember a time when he wasn’t a refugee. When he was four, in 1975, his family joined the masses of South Vietnamese fleeing the Viet Cong. His first reliable memories began when his family arrived at a Pennsylvania resettlement camp and was temporarily split up.

Join Nguyen, author of The Refugees and The Sympathizer, Divya Heffley of Carnegie Museum of Art, and Patrick McShea of Carnegie Museum of Natural History for a live reading and discussion, followed by a hands-on workshop that layers passages of text with memories of what we perceive to be home.

Featured Presenters:

Divya Rao Heffley is Senior Manager of Engagement and Strategy at Carnegie Museum of Art, where she guides the collaborative process behind Collecting Experiences. This exploratory initiative, centered in the museum’s collection galleries, prioritizes inclusive interpretive strategies and empowers multiple perspectives, building more access points for visitors to engage with art.

Divya is a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Learning and Leadership Committee for Racial Equity in Arts Funding, the Diversity Task Force at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the Inclusion Working Group at Carnegie Museum of Art. Divya’s writing has appeared in Museums and Visitor Photography; Museum Ideas: Innovation in Theory and Practice, v.2; Design and Culture; Carnegie Magazine; and the Center for the Future of Museums blog.

Divya holds a PhD in Art and Architectural History from Brown University and BA in Art History from Yale University.


An English Major by formal training, Patrick McShea has worked as an educator for Carnegie Museum of Natural History since 1985, managing the Museum’s extensive educational loan program during his entire tenure.

Patrick has written freelance essays for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, coordinated collaborative teacher workshops, and served as the museum’s officer for education projects with both the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo), and World Wildlife Fund.



Edith Doron served as the ACLS Public Fellow in charge of launching a cross-disciplinary museum-based initiative called Carnegie Nexus.

Now in its third year, Carnegie Nexus has developed opportunities for public engagement with research that challenge silos of knowledge in order to ask the messy and pressing questions of our time.

Before repatriating to the US, Edith lived in Scotland, UK for ten years where she studied philosophy and earned her PhD in Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen.



Carnegie Nexus is pleased to host Viet Thanh Nguyen as part of the Carnegie Nexus Becoming Migrant event series, a month of thought-provoking programming at the nexus of natural and unnatural migrations

Running April 5 – 27Becoming Migrant explores how migration shapes our world and our world view. Through captivating live performances, film, and conversation, the series reaches across borders to better understand the world we inhabit, and each other.

In addition to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s participation on April 9th, Carnegie Nexus is also a sponsor of “To Write is to Migrate” (April 25th), an event that features City of Asylum resident writer Israel Centeno. Hailing from Venezuela, Centeno and three other writers will share their encounters with museum artworks and natural specimens.

Becoming Migrant presents a rich opportunity to explore migration through the lens of art and science. A sampling of the award-winning performers and speakers that await you includes:

  •       RadioLab’s Jad Abumrad
  •       Pultizer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen
  •       Celebrated singer and activist Fatoumata Diawara
  •       Award-winning poet and Cave Canem founder Toi Derricotte
  •       City of Asylum resident writer Israel Centeno
  •       Agrupaciòn Señor Serrano, creator of Birdie

Join the conversation about migration’s impact on human life. For a complete schedule of Becoming Migrant events, locations and registration, please visit:https://nexus.carnegiemuseums.org


Carnegie Nexus taps the amazing material and intellectual assets of the four Carnegie Museums as they collaborate with other big thinkers to present insightful, risk-taking programming on ideas that impact us all. The collaborative initiative reaches across the arts and sciences to design experiences that animate pressing issues of our time and instigate new ways to examine our world through live performance, the visual and literary arts, and thoughtful conversation.

Event Details

April 9, 2018 @ 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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