Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei studied classical composition, linguistics, multimedia art, and group-analytic psychotherapy. He received his Ph.D. in Media & Communications from the European Graduate School and Ph.D. in Modern Thought from the University of Aberdeen.

Van Gerven Oei is co-director of scholar- and queer-led open-access press punctum books, board member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association, and founding chairperson of the ScholarLed Foundation.

He is a specialist in Old Nubian philology, publishing the standard work A Reference Grammar of Old Nubian (Peeters, 2021), and is co-founder of the Union for Nubian Studies and co-managing editor of Dotawo: A Journal of Nubian Studies.

Furthermore, Van Gerven Oei is director of project bureau for the arts and humanities The Department of Eagles, and co-founder of media outlet Exit and the Ottonomy Foundation in Albania. His three-volume work Lapidari (punctum books, 2015) provides the first complete overview of socialist monumentality in Albania. He is editorial board member of Stedelijk Studies and former editor of the New World Summit.

As a translator, he works mostly with anonymous Makuritan scribes and more recent authors such as Jean Daive, Hervé Guibert, Werner Hamacher, Dick Raaijmakers, Avital Ronell, and Nachoem M. Wijnberg. He has an ongoing collaboration with Japanese manga artist Gengoroh Tagame. His research has appeared in Afterall, Glossa, The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, postmedieval, and Theory & Event, among other venues.