Thank you for visiting this site. I have taught in the Great Books and history programs at Pepperdine University since Fall 2013, a few months after receiving my doctorate in history from University of Notre Dame. Prior to Pepperdine, I taught adjunct at UC Riverside and the Palm Desert Campus of Cal State San Bernardino, and worked at the L’Arche Wavecrest community in Orange, Calif.
Born in Vietnam – my name is spelled Hoàng Anh Tuấn in Vietnamese – and educated there until twelve years old, I graduated from high school in the Midwest and a small liberal arts college in Minnesota where I majored in philosophy and enrolled in the Great Books honors program. Between undergraduate and graduate studies, I lived and worked for ten years in Seattle, mostly at the L’Arche Noah Sealth community, but also in catering at Northwest Hospital. I currently live in Orange County, whose Little Saigon has the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam.
Blog. It is on the main page, and I post on matters related to teaching, scholarship, and, at times, other interests such as music, reading, and matters related to my personal history.
Bibliography. I began a bibliography on the histories of South Vietnam, postwar Vietnam, and Vietnamese Americans. But I couldn’t keep up with new publications and had to drop it. There are various resources elsewhere, including announcements of new publications from the Vietnam Studies Group listserv at University of Washington.
Why tuannyriver? In college, I lived in the seminary building on campus and worked in its kitchen. Washing dishes and pots and pans, however, fell to non-kitchen fellows who took turns on a weekly basis. Sometimes in my first year, one of the dishwashers, a junior, saw me nearby and spontaneously started singing Swanee River, a song by Stephen Foster from the 1850s and about the Suwanee River in the American South. It’s a charming song – here is a live and lively performance by Hugh Laurie, him of House fame – except that the junior sang it as, you guess it, Tuanny River.
It has stuck as a sobriquet of sorts, most conveniently as username for my email, Facebook, Twitter, old blog, wedding website, and now this website. For his impromptu creation of this moniker – aren’t the best ones always created spontaneously? – I am forever indebted to Monsignor Mark Merdian of the Diocese of Peoria.
Header photo: Snoqualmie Falls, February 2014