“Diacritics” is the term used for the accent marks that change the pronunciation and meanings of words in written in a variety of languages, including Vietnamese. DiaCRITICS is also a play on words to describe a group of writers, researchers, and artists engaged in public scholarship and criticism of culture produced in the Vietnamese diaspora. It is the official blog of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network and a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books. Its aim is to review and expose its audiences to the music, scholarship, literature, visual art, and performances of creators from the Vietnamese diaspora. Articles are published in English, Vietnamese, and French to reach the broadest audience and a diverse base of contributors. Popular media intermingle with academic scholarship, depicting the vast breadth of creative output of Vietnamese-diasporic cultures.
Pulitzer Prize-winning creative writer and University of Southern California Professor of English Viet Thanh Nguyen established diaCRITICS in 2010. At the beginning of 2018, Vietnamese-Danish-American author and musician Dao Strom took over as diaCRITICS’ Editor. Both its creator and new Editor are California-based, but contributors represent a vast array of global Vietnamese-diasporic communities.
Image courtesy of Huy Cao