University at Albany

Women's Studies Faculty - Vivien W. Ng
Department ChairVivien Ng

Contact Information
Office: SS 373 Email:
Phone: 518-442-4221
Skype: prof.vng (email to set up session)

Vivien Ng is Associate Professor and Chair of Women's Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY. Prior to joining the Women's Studies Dept. in Fall 1995, she taught Chinese history and women's studies at the University of Oklahoma for 13 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Chinese History at the University of Hawaii. She was Chair of the Women's Studies Department from 1995 to 2000 and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education from 2005-2010. She began her second stint as Department Chair in Fall 2011.

Ng was the first President of the National Women's Studies Association, serving in 1993-94. She has served on the board of the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation from 1989-93. She was a Mellon Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies in 1984-85 and a Rockefeller Fellow at Hunter College in 1990-91. She has served on the editorial boards of the NWSA Journal and the Journal of Women's History.

She has published a book, Madness in Late Imperial China: From Illness to Deviance (1990) and numerous articles. Her groundbreaking articles include "Ideology and Sexuality: Rape Laws in Qing China," which appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies in 1987 and "Homosexuality and the State in Late Imperial China," in Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Lesbian and Gay Past (New American Library, 1989). Her research and writing interests have undergone significant change since 1995, moving from Chinese social history to Asian American studies. Ng also writes short fiction. Her most recent story, "Redemption" is published in 13th Moon, a feminist literary magazine.

She is currently writing a “biomythography” of her maternal grandfather, a Chinese American restaurateur and filmmaker. She has read portions of the manuscript at Hunter College (co-sponsored by Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies), National Women’s Studies Association conference and other venues. A VoiceThread introduction to this project is available at Inspired by Laurie Anderson's "Heart of a Dog," Ng plans to produce her "Grandfather Project" as a short film.

Ng has been busy with other documentary projects. She was the principal researcher and associate producer for the documentary, "Trailblazers In Habits," a film about the social justice work of the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong, Latin America, and the United States. A second project, started in Fall 2014, is about artist Barbara Zuber, first African American woman admitted to the Yale School of Art. Ng is director, historian, and writer for this documentary. Anticipated commpletion date is 2016.

She is also writing a biography of Sr. Mary Mercy Hirschboeck, Maryknoll's first sister-doctor.


  • Ph.D., University of Hawaii (1980)
  • M.A., University of Hawaii (1975)
  • B.G.S., Ohio University (1972)

GRADUATE COURSES (listing only courses that are taught on a regular basis)

  • Research Seminar
  • Race, Gender and Cultural Politics in Asian Diaspora
  • Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES (listing only courses that are taught on a regular basis)

  • History of U.S. Women and Social Change.
  • Classism, Racism, Sexism
  • Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
  • Gender and Nation in World Cinema (online and face-to-face)
  • Topics in LBTQT Studies
  • Transmedia Storytelling



"On Her Own Terms" (working title), a film about the life and work of Barbara Zuber, first African American woman admitted to the Yale School of Art. (Projected completion date: 2016.)

Clips from raw files:

On Race and Racism:



On Art:

Childhood, Part One:

Childhood, Part Two:

School Days,

Visiting Spelman College:

"Trailblazers in Habits," 2013. (I am Associate Producer and Chief Researcher.)