Vietnam Centric Approaches to Vietnam's Twentieth Century History

Conference Announcement

To mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, April 30, 1975, this conference, sponsored by the Department of History and CSEAS, features scholarship that centers Vietnamese individuals, communities, movements, institutions, and discourses in the history of twentieth century Vietnam. Topics in political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual history will be explored. The focus on local actors and historical dynamics is intentional. With the 50th anniversary in mind, we are interested in new research emphasizing Vietnamese historical agency during the country's mid-twentieth century military and political conflicts.  We will also foreground presentations with similar Vietnam centric emphases set in the late colonial era and the post-war era. 


Friday, Apr 19, 2024

8:45 am: Welcome & opening remarks, Peter Zinoman

9:00 - 10:45: Panel 1, DRV: Homefront and Battlefront, Discussant: Alec Holcombe

Tuong Vu, Professor, Political Science, University of Oregon

  • War and Society in North Vietnam, 1967-1974: Glimpses of Ordinary Life

Lương Thị Hồng, Institute of History, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences

  • The Whispers in the Moonlight: Voices of North Vietnamese Women at War

Jason A. Picard, Founding Assistant Professor of Vietnamese History​ and Culture, College of Art and Sciences, VinUniversity

  • Tours of Duty: Inscribing Vietnamese Nationalism and Nation on the Hồ Chí Minh Trail, 1959-1975

10:45 - 12:30: Panel 2, The Vietnam Worker’s Party, Propaganda and Southern Communism, Discussant: Anthony Morreale

Phạm Hải Chung, Lecturer, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University

  • The Propaganda Pioneers: North Vietnam’s Political Cadres in the Vietnam War

Lê Antoine, PhD candidate, INALCO, affiliated with the Center for Southeast Asia (CASE), Temporary research and teaching attaché (ATER) at SciencesPo Paris – Le Havre Campus

  • The Southern Communists in the 1975 Offensive: New Insights on the Political and Military Balances Within the Revolutionary Side at the End of the Vietnam War

Cody Billock, PhD Candidate, Department of History, Ohio University

  • The COSVN Series: New Insights into the Communist Revolution in South Vietnam

12:30 - 1:30: Lunch

1:30 - 3:15: Panel 3, Emergent Fields in Vietnam Studies, Discussant: Martha Lincoln

Maria Baranova, PhD Candidate, Department of History, George Washington University

  • "Making it" in Colonial Indochina: A Case for Vietnam's Lost Business History

Chu Duy Ly, PhD Candidate, National University of Singapore, & Lecturer, University of Social Sciences and Humanities - Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City

  • Constructing a Dam to Build a Nation: The Case of the Da Nhim Hydroelectric Power Dam in the Republic of Vietnam (1955-1975)

Alex-Thái Đ. Võ, Assistant Professor, Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University

  • Re-presenting the Republic: Unveiling the Republic of Vietnam's Self-Image through Film Footage

Đỗ Thị Thanh Thủy, PhD Candidate, Department of Gender, Sexuality, Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University

  • Vietnamese State Feminism: The Making, Remaking, and Unmaking of Vietnamese Women

3:15 - 3:45: Coffee break

3:45 - 5:15: Keynote, Van Nguyen-Marshall, Associate Professor of History, Trent University, Ontario, Canada 

  • The Strange Case of the History of the Vietnam War

6:30 pm: Dinner reception 


Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

8:30 - 10:15: Panel 4, Vietnamese Communism(s): From Republicanism to Scientific Socialism, Discussant: Peter Zinoman

Charles Keith, Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University

  • Vietnamese Communism’s French Connection

Alec Holcombe, Associate Professor & Director of the Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University

  • The Role of Vu Dinh Hoe in the Making of Vietnam’s 1959 Constitution

Thanh Nguyen, Graduate student, Yale University, Department of History

  • Science, Development, and the Rearticulation of Vietnamese Socialism in the 1980s

10:15 - 12:00: Panel 5, Language and Power in the DRV, Discussant: Gia Dao

Yen Vu, Faculty member in Literature, Fulbright University Vietnam

  • Tran Duc Thao and The Dislocation of Language in Marxist Self-criticism

Vũ Thị Kim Hoa, Lecturer, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University; Phạm Hải Chung, Lecturer, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University; Đỗ Thị Nụ, Lecturer, Dai Nam University

  • Red Music as Propaganda Apparatus in the Vietnam War

Uyen Nguyen, Lecturer, Department of History/College of Humanities and Sciences, National University of Singapore

  • Memory, Madness, and Sorrows: Rethinking North Vietnamese Novels of the Postwar

12:00 - 1:30: Lunch

1:30 - 3:15: Panel 6, New Directions in RVN History, Discussant: Kevin Li 

Alexander M. Cannon, Associate Professor of Music, Department of Music, University of Birmingham

  • “The Four Seas as Siblings”: Nguyễn Đăng Thục and Asian Cultural Unity in the Republic of Vietnam

Ryan Nelson, The Ohio State University DPAA Research Partner Fellow

  • Criminally Iconic: The Rise and Fall of Đại Cathay, Late 1950s to Mid-1960s

Diu-Huong Nguyen, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of California, Irvine

  • Voices From the Center: Lập Trường and “the Vietnam Problem”

Chi-Thien Bui, MA student, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City

  • Vietnamization of Liturgy: Catholics and the Reception of Vatican II Liturgical Reform in South Vietnam, 1962-1975

3:15 - 3:45: Coffee break

3:45 - 5:30: Panel 7, Representing the Postwar, Discussant: Victoria Huynh

Vinh Phu Pham, Assistant Professor in World Literature, Bard HSEC Queens

  • Paris by Night and the Making of Vietnamese-American Music

Conor Michael James Lauesen, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • Post-1975 Visual Socialist Politics: The Pictures of Bùi Xuân Phái and Vũ Dân Tân

Ann Ngoc Tran, PhD Candidate, American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California

  • Imagined Diaspora: Anticipating Departure in Postwar Vietnam

5:30: Closing remarks

This conference is free and open to the public, and we welcome all to join panel presentations as audience members.