Trinh T. Minh-ha

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Trinh T. Minh-ha (1952, Hanoi) is a filmmaker, writer, literary theorist, composer and professor. She teaches in the University of California, Berkeley’s departments of Rhetoric, and Gender and Women’s Studies.

Born in Hanoi in 1952, Trinh emigrated to the United States in 1970 where she studied musical composition, ethnomusicology and French literature, completing her PhD dissertation in 1977 under the title: Un Art sans Oeuvre: l’Anonymat dans les Arts Contemporains [An Art Without Oeuvre: Anonymity in Contemporary Arts]. Since the early 1980s she has developed a complex theoretical, visual and poetic response to the implicit politics regulating the production of discourses and images of cultural difference. Working through the multidimensional effects of imperialism and neo-colonial modernity, her works played a pivotal role in the emergence of postcolonial theory and critique. Her now canonical 1989 book, Woman, Native, Other, investigates the contradictory imperatives faced by an ‘I’ positioned ‘in difference’ as a ‘Third World woman’ in the act of writing, as well as in critiquing the roles of the creator, intellectual and anthropologist. [1]

Trinh has been making films for over thirty years and among her best known are Reassemblage (1982) and Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1985). Alongside films and installations, she has published numerous essays and books on cinema, cultural politics, feminism and the arts.




(in English unless noted otherwise)


  • Un art sans œuvre, ou, l'anonymat dans les arts contemporains, Lathrup Village, MI: International Book Publishers, 1981, 126 pp. Originally presented as the author's dissertation, University of Illinois, 1977. (French)
  • with Jean-Paul Bourdier, African Spaces: Designs for Living in Upper Volta, Holmes & Meier, 1985, 229 pp.
  • En minuscules, Paris: Le Méridien, 1987, 99 pp. Poems. (French)
  • Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism, Indiana University Press, 1989. Review: Kotz.
    • Josei neitibu tasha: posutokoroniarizumu to feminizumu, trans. Takemura Kazuko, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1995, 254+22 pp; 2011. (Japanese)
  • When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender and Cultural Politics, Routledge, 1991, PDF; 2013.
  • Framer Framed, New York and London: Routledge, 1992, 276 pp. Film scripts and interviews.
  • Texte, Filme und Gespräche, eds. Hedwig Saxenhuber and Madeleine Bernstorff, Munich: Kunstverein, 1995. (German)
  • with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Drawn From African Dwellings, Indiana University Press, 1996, 334 pp. Review.
  • Cinema Interval, Routledge, 1999; repr., 2013.
  • Texte. Texts, Vienna: Secession, 2001. [2] (English)/(German)
  • The Digital Film Event, Routledge, 2005.
  • with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Habiter un monde: architectures de l'Afrique de l'ouest, Paris: Alternatives, 1995, 191 pp. (French)
    • Vernacular Architecture of West Africa: A World in Dwelling, Routledge, 2011, 191 pp.
  • Elsewhere, Within Here: Immigration, Refugeeism and the Boundary Event, Routledge, 2010, vii+139 pp.
    • Ta fang, zai ci chu: qian ju, tao nan yu bian jie ji shi, trans. Wanyu Huang, Taibei Shi: Tian yuan cheng shi wen hua shi ye you xian gong si, 2013, 229 pp. (Chinese)
    • Koko no naka no dokoka e: ijū nanmin kyōkaiteki dekigoto, trans. Kobayashi Fukuko, Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2014, 265 pp. (Japanese)
    • Odjinud, jež se nachází právě zde, trans. Martin Micka, Prague:, 2015, 108 pp. [3] (Czech)

Selected essays[edit]