Archives de catégorie : Signalements

Martina Thucnhi Nguyen – On Our Own Strength: The Self-Reliant Literary Group and Cosmopolitan Nationalism in Late Colonial Vietnam

Une parution à ne pas manquer ! Présentation de l’éditeur (University of Hawaii Press).

On Our Own Strength examines the political activities of the most influential intellectual movement in interwar French-occupied Vietnam. The far-reaching work of the Self-Reliant Literary Group (Tự Lực Văn Đoàn) included applied design, urban reform, fashion, literature, journalism, and cartoons; its work was deeply political in both form and intent. The Group drew upon a wide range of global intellectual currents and practices to build an enlightened public that would one day serve as the basis of a modern Vietnamese nation. Its nationalist vision sought a nonviolent middle path between colonialism and anticolonial struggle, advocating a process of gradual decolonization that ultimately ended in Vietnamese autonomy. This form of cosmopolitan nationalism proved tremendously popular among ordinary Vietnamese and necessarily shaped local politics, influencing the political agenda of even rival groups such as the newly revived Indochinese Communist Party (ICP). On Our Own Strength shows how the Group’s vision shaped the ways ICP positioned itself and sought popular support in the years leading up to the August Revolution and beyond. In later years, the party attempted to erase the Group’s early influence on national politics, banning their writings and casting them as little more than bourgeois literary figures. In recovering the Group’s unique response to the world around them, this book bridges the areas of political, cultural, and intellectual history, drawing them together into a rich narrative of Vietnamese nation-building from the bottom-up within a larger global context​.

Martina Thucnhi Nguyen offers a powerful model for the field of Vietnamese studies as it continues to move beyond simplistic and political narratives of its most tumultuous period. Groundbreaking in perception, her book engages broadly with global history, European history, and imperial studies to explore colonialism’s hybrid cultural and political forms. She examines how the Self-Reliant Literary Group weighed in on everything from women’s fashion and public housing to the major political ideologies of the era, in a unique style that mixed French-inflected ideas with Vietnamese norms and forms. As a deep case study of important figures on the Vietnamese moderate left, On Our Own Strength provides an injection of color and nuance into a history that is often too monochromatic.

Source : https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/on-our-own-strength-the-self-reliant-literary-group-and-cosmopolitan-nationalism-in-late-colonial-vietnam/

Vietnam’s pathfinder

Hommage de l’historien K.W. Taylor (professeur en études culturelles sino-vietnamiennes au département des études asiatiques de l’Université de Cornell) à son collègue John K. Whitmore, historien du Viêt-Nam à l’Université de Michigan, récemment décédé.


John Kremers Whitmore (1940–2020) was the pioneer of Vietnamese studies in the United States, not only because of his own research and publications but equally because he trained and nurtured new generations of young scholars. In the 1960s, Vietnamese studies in the United States hardly existed. There were anti-war academics, mostly specialising in American history, with a few having expertise in some Southeast Asian country other than Vietnam. But scholars who studied Vietnam as a country and not just as a war were exceedingly rare. Only one American was devoted to the study of Vietnam on its own terms, and that was John Whitmore.

Lire la suite : Mekong Review, November 2020. URL : https://mekongreview.com/vietnams-pathfinder/


Illustration « à la une » : Dr John K. Whitmore at a Chinese–Vietnamese boundary marker in Qinzhou, Guangxi, China, 2008.
Photo: Sun Laichen

Gregg Huff : World War II and Southeast Asia [parution]

Parution d’un ouvrage important sur l’occupation japonaise en Asie du Sud-Est. Présentation de l’éditeur.

World War II and Southeast Asia
Economy and Society under Japanese Occupation

From December 1941, Japan, as part of its plan to build an East Asian empire and secure oil supplies essential for war in the Pacific, swiftly took control of Southeast Asia. Japanese occupation had a devastating economic impact on the region. Japan imposed country and later regional autarky on Southeast Asia, dictated that the region finance its own occupation, and sent almost no consumer goods. GDP fell by half everywhere in Southeast Asia except Thailand. Famine and forced labour accounted for most of the 4.4 million Southeast Asian civilian deaths under Japanese occupation. In this ground-breaking new study, Gregg Huff provides the first comprehensive account of the economies and societies of Southeast Asia during the 1941-1945 Japanese occupation. Drawing on materials from 25 archives over three continents, his economic, social and historical analysis presents a new understanding of Southeast Asian history and development before, during and after the Pacific War.

  • Provides the first comprehensive study of Southeast Asian economy and society during the 1941-1945 Japanese occupation
  • Features an extraordinarily wide range of archive material drawn from 25 archives over three continents
  • Includes economic, social and historical analysis to assess the long-term impact of the Pacific War and Japanese occupation on Southeast Asia

Source : Cambridge University Press. URL : https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/history/south-east-asian-history/world-war-ii-and-southeast-asia-economy-and-society-under-japanese-occupation?format=HB

Pourquoi Nguyễn Huy Thiệp ? (dossier)

Les Cahiers du Nem, revue culturelle en ligne, propose un dossier sur un grand écrivain vietnamien dont les plupart des œuvres ont été traduites et publiées en France.

En ce mois de septembre 2020, les Cahiers du Nem publient un dossier sur l’écrivain vietnamien Nguyễn Huy Thiệp, l’une des figures les plus emblématiques de la littérature au lendemain du Đổi Mới, l’ouverture économique lancée en 1986.

Pourquoi Thiệp ?

Son œuvre est publiée presque intégralement aux éditions de l’Aube, mais hors des milieux universitaires intéressés par le Viêt Nam et de la diaspora, elle demeure relativement peu lue. Nous sommes pour notre part convaincus qu’il est un grand écrivain qui gagnerait à être davantage connu en France et dans le monde. Ses nouvelles ont pour décor le Viêt Nam, bien sûr. Mais sans doute la finesse de celles-ci et les conclusions que l’auteur leur apporte, jamais définitives du point de vue moral, nous renseignent-elles sur la complexité de l’humanité toute entière.

Lire la suite : Louis Raymond, Pourquoi Nguyên Huy Thiêp, 11/09/2020.

Articles du dossier :

Illustration « à la une » : l’écrivain Nguyên Huy Thiêp, photo de Marcelino Truong

International justice: tackling impunity in Asia

[ndlr] Signalement d’un article de Priya Pillai publié dans The Interpreter, le média en ligne du Lowy Institute.


Trials in Cambodia, while fraught, may help deliver accountability for crimes against humanity across the region.

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, high ranking officials of the Pol Pot regime, have been sentenced to life imprisonment twice over for their role in the genocide of the Cham Muslim and ethnic Vietnamese minorities during the Khmer Rouge era.

The landmark judgment delivered this month by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found the pair guilty of crimes against humanity, including murder, forced marriage and rape, forced labour, among others.

The decision of the chamber and the institution which issued it are noteworthy for a few reasons, not all positive. Of the two completed cases at the ECCC, the guilt of only three individuals has been adjudicated upon. Four defendants are yet to face trial, which is unlikely to proceed due to government opposition.

Lire la suite : The Interpreter, 29/11/2018.

Illustration « à la une » : Victims of the Pol Pot regime on display in a memorial tower at the Choeung Ek killing fields © Satoshi Takahashi via Getty

Le Vietnam il y a 150 ans vu par un médecin militaire français [Vietnam +]

[ndlr] Redécouverte du Viêt-Nam via des écrits français récemment traduits.

Hanoi (VNA) – Récemment, de nombreux ouvrages sous forme de compte-rendu personnel ou de récit de voyage d’Occidentaux ayant vécu au Vietnam ont suscité une grande attention auprès des sociétés d’édition. Une campagne au Tonkin, écrit par le français Hocquard fait partie d’un de ces livres et son écho résonne à l’heure actuelle dans la communauté des amoureux de lecture.

Une campagne au Tonkin est un ouvrage publié par la Société par actions de la culture de Dông A Books. Il s’agit d’un compte-rendu personnel du médecin militaire et photographe français Charles-Édouard Hocquard. Fin du XIXe siècle, la France a mené une grande campagne dans le but d’établir un protectorat sur le Tonkin (région septentrionale du Vietnam). Hocquard a vécu deux ans en Indochine (1884-1886) au service de l’expédition française.

Lire la suite : Nguyễn Thị Hồng Minh, Vietnam +, mardi 30 juin 2020

Illustration « à la une » : Les versions imprimées du livre Une campagne au Tonkin de l’auteur français Hocquard, publié par Dông A Books.

Tran Ngoc Chau, Vietnamese counterinsurgency specialist, dies at 96 of coronavirus complications

[ndlr]  Parution dans le Washington Post (accès limité depuis l’Europe) d’un article biographique intéressant de Harrison Smith sur Tran Ngoc Chau un personnage dont le destin est intimement lié à la déchirure nationale vietnamienne et qui a défrayé la chronique au Sud Viêt-Nam dans les années 1969-1970.

Tran Ngoc Chau, a Vietnamese soldier and politician who battled French colonial forces and later the communist Viet Cong, emerging as an influential American ally before being imprisoned in Saigon on treason charges, died June 17 at a hospital in the West Hills section of Los Angeles. He was 96.

His daughter Tamminh Tran Kapuscinska said the cause was complications from covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Mr. Chau was part of a dwindling group of Vietnamese whose lives were dominated by three decades of conflict, including the resistance against Japanese occupation during World War II, the battle for independence against colonial France and the war that followed the country’s 1954 partition, which pitted the communist North against the U.S.-backed South.

Lire la suite / Read more : The Washington Post, 10/07/2020.

Image « à la une » : Tran Ngoc Chau dans les années cinquante à l’académie militaire de Dalat © DR