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Engaging with Vietnam Sixth International Conference [call for papers]

Engaging with Vietnam Sixth International Conference

Eugene, Oregon, 6-7 November 2014



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Frontiers and Peripheries: Vietnam Deconstructed and Reconnected

Sponsors and Organizations

Co-sponsors and Co-organizers: University of Oregon and University of Hawaii at Manoa

This two-day international conference promotes the study of Vietnam and dialogue between diverse communities of Vietnam scholars inside and outside Vietnam. This annual event has been held for five times since 2009 in Vietnam, Australia, and the U.S., co-sponsored by Monash University, Vietnam National University Hanoi, University of Hawaii at Manoa, the East-West Center in Honolulu, and Thai Nguyen University in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. The Sixth Conference will be held on the beautiful campus of the University of Oregon. The University was founded in 1876 and is a world-class teaching and research university and the flagship university of the state of Oregon. It is located about two hours by car from Portland, Oregon, and one hour by air from San Francisco or Seattle.

One of the key identities of the Engaging with Vietnam Conference is its interdisciplinary research rigor that places scholarship as well as policy-research dialogues at the core of its agendas. It has brought speakers from various fields across the social sciences, humanities, education, and policy to engage in these questions. Now in its sixth year, the conference has contributed to providing a forum for sharing exciting new research on Vietnam among a rapidly expanding scholarly community. The Sixth Conference will also be among the few general conferences dedicated to Vietnam ever held in continental United States in recent years. It will feature keynote panels consisting of scholars and education leaders speaking directly to the key foci of the conference.

The core theme of the Sixth Engaging with Vietnam conference is “Frontiers and Peripheries: Vietnam Deconstructed and Reconnected.” We invite participants to think of Vietnam not as a self-contained entity as in the conventional way. Instead, we want to deconstruct Vietnam, both as a frontier or periphery of larger entities and as containing in itself distinct frontiers and peripheries. The larger entities of which Vietnam constitutes a periphery or frontier can be some larger geographical/historical/cultural/economic/political zones, such as wet-rice economy, Chinese civilization, the Indo-Malay world, European imperialism, the Roman Catholic Church, Cold War camps, the K-pop wave, transnational social movements, transnational crimes, global capitalism, and diasporic communities.

Some of the questions we are interested in are: Where have Vietnamese situated themselves when they think of the broader world around them? How has Vietnam’s peripheral or frontier status shaped its history, culture, society, politics, and the identities of its people? What characterizes the major patterns of Vietnamese interactions with the center/metropole as well as with other peripheral or frontier areas? While external powers have historically sought to dominate Vietnam, Vietnamese in history and in the contemporary era have themselves sought to colonize other frontiers and peripheries. How have Vietnamese rationalized such events? How do they integrate internal frontiers and peripheries in their thoughts and acts? Can we think of Vietnam as an empire? We hope that this new conceptualization can show aspects of Vietnamese history, culture, economy, and politics in a fresh light.

Besides the core theme, we invite proposals for panels and papers that address issues that you believe are significant in Vietnam’s internal development or external engagement. These might include, for example, migration, urbanization, labor relations, gender and religious issues, land use and rural development, financial and economic reform, trade and investment, climate change and other related environment and resource issues, legal and constitutional reform, cultural changes, and elite politics and foreign policy. Issues salient to the diasporic communities of Vietnam abroad and their relationship to Vietnam are similarly important.

We are interested in both cutting-edge academic research as well as policy issues. While the organizers prefer submissions for panels, they are also willing to consider individual submissions. If accepted, the organizers will seek to group such individuals into panels reflecting similar research or interests. Excellent submissions may be selected for publication in an edited volume. Participants are expected to find their own way to Eugene, Oregon. A modest conference fee will cover meal and other costs of the conference.

We welcome your ideas and your submissions, and we promise you a rich and rewarding experience in Oregon.

Please upload your panel proposal (500 words) or paper proposal (200-300 words) by the deadline below.

Deadline for abstract submission: August 30, 2014

Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2014

Individual presentation: 30 minutes, including 10 minutes for questions

Panel (4 papers maximum): up to 120 minutes, including question time

Please download the abstract submission form, complete it and send it to with the subject title “Abstract Submission.”

Please address all queries regarding the conference to

With best regards,

Conference Co-Chairs and Co-Convenors,

Tuong Vu and Glenn May (University of Oregon)

Phan Le Ha (University of Hawaii, Manoa, Monash University, & VNU Hanoi)

Liam Kelley (University of Hawaii, Manoa)