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  • Curriculum Vitae

    Prof. Dr. Minh Nguyen  

    © Bielefeld University

I am a social anthropologist with interdisciplinary orientation. My PhD, acquired in an interdisciplinary PhD program at the University of East Anglia, was oriented towards anthropological theories and methods. This anthropological expertise was further developed during my time at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale) before I joined Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Sociology. My current research focuses on labour, mobility and migration, care and welfare China, Vietnam, Southeast Asia and more generally. My publications analyze the social transformations generated by the mobility of labour and changing care and welfare regimes, as well as the implications of global processes on people’s daily economic practices and local systems of meanings. The questions of how the movement of people intersects with the commodification of labour, how the labour force is cared for, and what notions of the good life motivate people in global societies have been central to this work. Increasingly I am also interested in the ramifications of financialization for labour and the lives of ordinary people.

Professional Career


Professor of Social Anthropology, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University


Research Associate, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology;  External Lecturer,                              
Martin Luther University, Halle/Saale, Germany


Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology


Post-graduate Researcher, School of International Development
and International Development Centre UEA, University of East

2006-2007 Maternity leave

Freelance consultant and researcher (on rural development, social development, gender)


2007-2011 PhD Degree, University of East Anglia, UK
2002-2003 MA Degree, University of Queensland, Australia

Matriculation in Sociology as second BA, Vietnam National University, Hanoi

1994-1998 BA Degree, Vietnam National University, Hanoi

Awards and Nominations

  • Nominated by the Swiss National Science Foundation for the online portal AcademiaNet: Profiles of Leading Female Scientists (2020).
  • Member of Steering Group, 3. UK-German Frontiers of Humanities Symposium on “Mobilities” by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and British Academy (2022). 
  • Member of the Academy of Finland Social Sciences 3’s Review Panel for its annual grant program (2021). 
  • Book Prize of American Anthropological Association's Society for the Anthropology of Work (2019).
  • Visiting professorship, University of Social Science and Humanities, National University, Hanoi (since 2018). 

Third-party funding

  • PI in joint DFG Research Training Group by Bielefeld University and University of Duisburg-Essen on "Cross-border Labour Markets: Transnational Market Makers, Infrastructures, Institutions" (funded by the German Research Foundation, 2024-29, €6.700.000). Homepage:
  • European Research Council Starting Grant “Welfare for Migrant Factory Workers: Moral Struggles and Politics ofCare” (2019-24, €1.500.000). Homepage:
  • ZIF Working Groups (Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Bielefeld): "The Good Life in Late Socialist Asia: Aspirations, Politics, Possibilities" (2018-19, €10.000); “Reconfiguring Labour and Welfare in Emerging Economies of the Global South” (2021, €15.000); and “The Politics of Care under Market Socialism: Labor, Welfare and Global Capital in China and Vietnam” (2022-23, €15.000).

Administrative functions and honorary appointments


Editorial Board member, Journal of Vietnamese Studies (UC Berkeley Press)

Ongoing Co-editor, Working Paper Series: Bielefeld Anthropological Papers on Issues of the Global World (BAPGW), Bielefeld University
Ongoing Co-convenor, lecture series "Understanding Asia" at Bielefeld University
2020-22 Member, Bielefeld University’s Commission for Research and Promotion of Early Career Scientists
2021- Board member, Centre for German and European Studies (CGES/ZDES): St. Petersburg/Bielefeld (the centre is currently suspended until further notice)
2021 Member, Academy of Finland Social Sciences 3 Review Panel
2020 Member, AcademiaNet: Swiss National Science Foundation, Profiles of Leading Female Scientists
2020- Member, Faculty Council and Habilitation Committee, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University
2018- Member of the Institute of World Society, Bielefeld University
2019- Member of the Shaping Asia initiative and network, Bielefeld-Heidelberg

Review and evaluation


Anthropological Theory, American Ethnologist, American Anthropologist, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Men and Masculinities, Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Population Studies, Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Canadian Journal of Anthropology, Development and Change; Journal of Vietnamese Studies; Pacific Affairs; Journal of Economic Anthropology, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies; China Information, China Review, World Development Perspective, and others.

Review and evaluation


University of Vienna, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), Irish Research Council, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Central European University, Berghahn Books, European Research Council, Cornell University Press, University of Amsterdam, German Research Foundation (DFG), Swedish International Foundation for Science, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Free University of Berlin, University of California at Riverside, and others.

Conferences, Workshops and Conference Panels

March 2024 International Conference The Politics of Care under Market Socialism: Labor, Welfare and Global Capital in China and Vietnam, Bielefeld’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies
June 2023

Panel The Politics of Aspirations and Transnational Migration in Post-reform Vietnam, Association of Asian Studies Conference, Daegu, South Korea

April 2023 Panel Financializing Social Protection in the Global South, Association of Social Anthropologist 2023 Conference, London, UK
Sept. 2022

Panel Rural Futures in Late Socialist Asia: The Countryside in a Globalising World, German Sociological Association’s biannual conference, Bielefeld, Germany.

July 2022 Co-organiser, symposium Knowledge, Mobility, Belonging, Bielefeld’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies
Jun. 2022 Co-organiser, panel The Financialization of Everyday Life in Vietnam, European Association of Southeast Asian Studies biannual conference
April 2022

Co-organiser, international workshop Reconfiguring Vietnam: Global Encounters, Translocal Lifeworlds, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle

Dec. 2021 Co-organiser, international conference Reconfiguring Labour and Welfare in Emerging Eonomies of the Global South, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University
Jan. 2021 Co-organiser, Global Encounter: An exchange forum between the sociology faculties of Bielefeld University, Nanjing University and Vietnam National University
Oct 2020 Co-convener, German Anthropological Association’s Autumn School for PhD students in anthropology, “Fieldwork Meets Crisis”
Aug. 2020 Co-organiser, online workshop Ethnographic Fieldwork in East Asia in the Times of Covid-19, with Aike Peter Rots from University of Oslo
Dec. 2019 Organiser, panel Care and Privatization in Marketing Socialist Asia, American Anthropological Association Meeting 2019, Vancouver
Sept. 2019 Co-organiser, international conference The Good Life in Late Socialist Asia: Aspirations, Politics, and Possibilities. Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University
Sept. 2019

Co-organiser and discussant, panel The Gender of Labour in Privatising Vietnam. EuroSEAS Conference 2019, Humboldt University, Berlin

Aug. 2017  Co-organiser and discussant, panel Beyond the State? The Everyday Politics of Development in Southeast Asia. EuroSEAS Conference 2017, Oxford University, England
Mar. 2017 Organiser, panel Mobility and Everyday Moralities in Contemporary Vietnam. American Asian Studies Conference 2017, Toronto, Canada.
Dec. 2015

Discussant, international workshop Southeast Asian Intersections: Labour Migration, Translocality, and Regional Dynamic. Global South Studies Center, University of Cologne, Germany.

Nov. 2015

Co-organiser, panel ‘Gender and Economic Activities in Marketized Socialist China and Vietnam’, American Anthropological Association Conference 2015, Denver, USA. 

Aug. 2015

Co-organiser, panel ‘How is Migrant Labour Changing Rural Southeast Asia? Translocality, Hybridity, and Emerging Categories’. Euroseas Conference. University of Vienna, Austria. 

Jul. 2014    

Co-organiser, international conference Beyond the Global Care Chain: Boundaries, Institutions, and Ethics of Care. Halle/Saale: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany.

Jul. 2013 Co-organiser, panel ‘Migration and the Vietnamese Family: Shifting Structures, Relations and Identities’. Euroseas Conference. Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. 

Invited lectures and presentations at

Vietnam Update Conference at Australian National University; Institute of Anthropology, Vietnam Academy of Social Science; Institute of Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences; School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK; Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany; Institute of Cultural Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Science; Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland; Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transitional Economies, Germany; Global South Studies Center, University of Cologne, Germany; Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment, Vietnam; Bielefeld Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Germany; Department of Gender Studies, Lund University, Sweden; Department of Sociology, University of Nanjing, China; Elite Graduate Program "Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures”, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany; School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, UK; Duisburg University, Germany; Edinburgh University, UK; Issues of Globalization Roundtable, AAA Meeting in Vancouver, Canada; STAR 1 Training Program for PhD students of all universities in Scotland (keynote); European Institute of China Studies, France; Vietnam Research Snapshots online lecture series; Department of East Asian Studies at the University Paris Cité, France.

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