Coe’s Contemporary Issues Forum hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen Contemporary Issues Forum SpeakerAuthor and educator Viet Thanh Nguyen will speak at Coe College as the featured guest of the 17th annual Contemporary Issues Forum. His visit will be Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium on Coe’s campus and is open to the public.


Having reached the peak of the literary world in 2016 with his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Sympathizer,” Nguyen is one of America’s most highly regarded contemporary writers. He has released “The Committed,” the sequel to “The Sympathizer” and has published or contributed to numerous other novels, collections, scholarly articles and essays for such publications as The New York Times, Time, The Guardian and The Atlantic. He currently serves as the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and professor of English, American studies and ethnicity and comparative literature at the University of Southern California. Other recent accolades include fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations.


  • Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 319-399-8600. The event is free for Coe students, faculty and staff, while ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for non-Coe students and seniors. Masks will be required for those attending in person.
  • For those unable to attend in person, a virtual viewing option is available. Tickets may be purchased for $10 at and will be good for one viewing of the event.


Established by the late K. Raymond Clark '30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Polish President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning global health expert Laurie Garrett, legendary soccer player Abby Wambach, leading commentator on race Jelani Cobb, environmentalists and social entrepreneurs Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews, astrophysicist Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell and director of the MIT AgeLab Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin.


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