Archives par mot-clé : Boston

Association for Asian Studies – Annual Conference – 16-19 mars 2023 – Boston

Programme en ligne de la prochaine réunion internationale de l’Association des Etudes Asiatiques aux Etats-Unis.

Lien vers le PDF en ligne : 2023-AAS-Print-Program-FINAL.pdf (

Quelques panels sur le Viêt-Nam contemporain et l’Indochine coloniale :

A038 – Ghostly Infrastructures and Worldly Hauntings: Understanding Politics and Power in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos – Sponsored by the Thailand Laos Cambodia Studies Group

Thursday, March 16, 2023 / 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

· Boston Sheraton Hotel – Jamaica Pond (5th Floor)

Legacies of western philosophy undermine approaches to scholarship in Southeast Asia, particularly categorical divisions between the so-called “worldly” and “unworldly,” which do not correspond to practices of stakeholders and communities on the ground. This panel gathers scholars from a variety of disciplines to discuss how infrastructures and spiritual powers become entangled and that these entangled categories must be considered together when conducting research on these practices. In the minefields of Cambodia, the military structures the spiritual hierarchies even so that Buddha is “the manager of all the spirits.” In Vietnam, the end of coal leaves behind contested power plants.In Thailand, roadside shrines that form from accidents provide glitchy sacred geographies. In Laos PDR, financial “ghosting” emerges beneath the state-led infrastructure projects.We draw together ideas of haunting, as in remnants that stay behind, and ghosts, as in those who stay behind, to bring into conversation multiple conceptual underpinning to things that haunt the Greater Mekong Subregion. In our multidisciplinary panel we ask, what does it mean to have haunted infrastructures in the Subregion? And what does scholarship look like when we blur the demarcation of worldly and unworldly hauntings?

Organizer : Darcie DeAngelo (University of Oklahoma)

Chair : Daena Aki Funahahsi (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant : Christina Schwenkel (University of California, Riverside)


B036 – The Lives and Afterlives of Three Royal Women of Vietnam from Dynastic to Nationalist Historiography

Friday, March 17, 2023 / 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

  • Boston Sheraton Hotel – The Fens (5th Floor)

Informed by a patriarchal Confucian ideology, Vietnam’s dynastic historiography tends to subsume its female figures under male-dominated narratives. This pattern extends to modern times when varieties of nationalism often reinscribe the stories of these women into patriotic narratives of the fatherland. As their silenced voices are recovered by new generations they are also re-covered in novel figurations to speak to latterday concerns and values. This panel proposes to retrace the layers of discursive transformation of three prominent royal women of Vietnam’s premodern past by way of an interdisciplinary historiographical approach. Trần Thị An looks at the eleventh-century Queen Ỷ Lan and the transformation of this Cinderella-like figure in texts, folklore, religion and on stage from medieval to modern times. Trần Hải Yến explores the racial and moral controversies surrounding Princess Huyền Trân’s fourteenth-century geopolitical marriage to a Champa king and her subsequent elopement with her alleged paramour upon widowhood in official histories and latterday romanticization. Nguyễn Quốc Vinh looks at the contested symbolism in Princess Ngọc Hân’s marriage to the Tây Sơn emperor Nguyễn Huệ in 1786 and its emergence as a site of counter-memories in postwar Vietnam. Comparisons and contrasts in the evolving portrayals of these three royal women from dynastic to nationalist historiography can bring fresh insights into the continual discursive reimagination and reinterpretation of elite female identity as a potent site of contest and subversion in the male-dominated world of Vietnamese sexual and cultural politics of the past and of today.

Organizer : Vinh Quoc Nguyen (Columbia University)

Chair : Hue-Tam Ho Tai (Harvard University)

Discussant : Nhung Tuyet Tran (University of Toronto)


C036 – Area of Study: Southeast Asia Decentering and Recentering Saigon: The Southern Metropolis across War, Revolution, and Market Reforms  

FRIDAY MARCH 17, 2023 – 11:00 AM-12:30 PM 

· Sheraton, Riverway

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is now Vietnam’s largest metropolis and economic hub, unrivaled by any city except for Hanoi. But unlike the ancient northern capital, Saigon is an upstart city that rose from the periphery of Vietnamese political space to become a center of political, economic, social, and cultural power. It began as a small inland port of a precolonial breakaway kingdom, blossomed into a bustling regional capital under colonial rule, and, during the wars of the mid-twentieth century, asserted itself as a national capital eager to challenge the supremacy of Hanoi. The end of the war crushed such ambitions, but rather than being relegated back to the periphery, the renamed Ho Chi Minh City reestablished itself as Vietnam’s preeminent economic center. This interdisciplinary panel contributes to the scholarship on Saigon by reconceptualizing the city’s centrality and peripherality during the modern period. Kevin Li argues that the city was a contested political center during the First Indochina War and traces the attempt of the Bình Xuyên, an outlaw-led armed force from the city’s social and geographical margins, to assert power. Ryan Nelson contends that Saigon was the cultural capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Saigonese enthusiastically adopted Western gender norms and women’s fashion and set the standards of taste for the peripheries of the republic. Erik Harms finds that infrastructural transformations made and remade the spatial centers and peripheries of postwar Ho Chi Minh City based on socialist visions and capitalist imperatives.

Chair : Nu-Anh Tran (University of Connecticut)

Discussant: Nu-Anh Tran (University of Connecticut)


  • Marginalizing the State on Centerstage: The Bình Xuyên’s Battle for Saigon / Kevin Li, New York University 
  • Saigon in High Heels and Mini-Skirts: Changing Fashion and Gender Norms in South Vietnam’s Center of Culture, 1963-1967 / Ryan Nelson, Ohio State University 
  • How Reaching for Its Edges Helped Make Ho Chi Minh City into a Center (and Turned It Back into Saigon) / Erik Harms, Yale University 

D038 – Book History in Vietnam: Knowledge Transmission and Circulation in the Early Modern Era

Friday, March 17, 2023 / 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

· Hynes Convention Center – Meeting Room 200 (Second Level)

In the early modern era, vibrant literary and print cultures developed in East and Southeast Asia. The proliferation of classical “Sinic” knowledge was linked to the local formations of identity and commercial development. Although Vietnam has long been recognized as part of the Chinese cultural world, we still know very little about the cultural patterns articulated there. The books produced, printed, and circulated in Vietnam did not simply copy Sinitic cultural values, but reflect the cultural hybridity apparent at the interstices of Cham, Chinese, and Vietnamese societies. This panel examines how this hybrid knowledge was circulated in Vietnam. The chair Nam Nguyen will provide an overview of the extant knowledge of book culture in Vietnam, leading to Nhung Tran’s discussion of books printed and circulated on the southern edges of the Vietnamese Empire suggesting that they were representing local Cham practice as Sinic orthodoxy. Hsu Yi Ling’s paper on Vietnamese envoy book choices demonstrates how the lands and the waters traversed can determine what kinds of knowledge are (re)produced and disseminated in what was presumed to be a universal Confucian world order. Lan Nguyen’s study of the adoption, translation, and transmission Buddhist scriptures along the peninsular reveals how Yunanese folk practices can become transmitted and represented as orthodox. These papers all converge on books, as a medium for the transmission of knowledge, can distort as well as transmit what is seen as “universal knowledge.” Global book historian Devin Fitzgerald will provide his insight as discussant.

Organizer : Nhung Tuyet Tran (University of Toronto)

Chair : Nam Nguyen (Fulbright University Vietnam)

Discussant : Devin Fitzgerald (University of California, Los Angeles)


E023 – Christian Asians or Asian Christians? The Transnationality of Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese Christians during the Fall of Empires and the Cold War

Friday, March 17, 2023 / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

· Hynes Convention Center – Meeting Room 203 (Second Level)

Christians are transnational because they are united across political borders into a shared religious infrastructure. Yet, neither exclusively Christians nor nationals, they also existed an in-between space that transgresses political boundaries. Amidst the fall of empires, the rise of nation-states, and new imperial formations, this transnationality allowed Christians to construct horizontal networks across communities and national churches in East and Southeast Asia. By relying on various cultural repertoires, overlapping jurisdictions, and different claims to sovereignty and citizenship, they adapted and responded to the fluctuating circumstances.

This panel explores the making and unmaking of transnational Christian networks in East Asia during its violent decolonization period and the Cold War. How did Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese Christians manifest, manage, and maneuver their transnationality? How did this process generate various forms of inter-denominational tension? Anh Le analyzes the ties of two Catholic churches in French Indochina and examines their entanglements with overseas Chinese networks. Hajin Jun examines the transformative impact of forced Shinto policies on the Korean Protestant communities in late colonial Korea. Sandra Park studies how Koreans debated the postcolonial position of Christianity in the trans-imperial space of early Cold War Korea. Phi-Vân Nguyen explores the role of overseas Vietnamese in the Christian movement opposing the Vietnam war. Taken together, these four papers show that being “transnationals” meant partaking in multi-faceted inter-Asian relationships connecting them to other local and trans-regional networks, thus foregrounding oft-neglected historical dynamics that promise new insights into the studies of migration, Asian Christianity, empires, and the Cold War.

Organizers : Anh Sy Huy Le (St. Norbert College) ; Phi-Van Nguyen (Université de Saint-Boniface)

Chair : Michel Chambon (Asia Research Institute, NUS)

Discussant : Michel Chambon (Asia Research Institute, NUS)


E039 – Legacies of the Second Indochina War and U.S. Foreign Policy – Sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace

Friday, March 17, 2023 / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Hynes Convention Center – Meeting Room 104 (Plaza Level)

This roundtable brings academics and practitioners from the U.S. and Vietnam together to examine how the U.S. government and non-governmental actors have responded to ongoing physical legacies of the Second Indochina War from 1961-1975. These legacies include over 300,000 soldiers and civilians from all sides listed as missing in action; environmental and health effects of Agent Orange/dioxin hotspots; and over 100,000 postwar casualties from landmines and unexploded bombs. In the immediate postwar period, war legacies were an obstacle to relations of all three Indochina countries with the U.S., as U.S. policymakers took responsibility only for recovery of American remains and requests for assistance on other war legacies went unheard. In the decades since the resolution of the Cambodia conflict and normalization of U.S. relations with Cambodia and Vietnam, however, the situation has transformed to the point that war legacy cooperation with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia is now a strong point in U.S. policy in the region.

Panelists will discuss examples of the process of building transnational and cross-cultural relationships to address war legacies and the implications of such cooperation for peacebuilding and conflict resolution elsewhere in Asia. Hai Nguyen will analyze the politics of U.S. research contributions for Vietnam to identify and recover remains of the missing through the Wartime Accounting Initiative. Susan Hammond will share the progress and pitfalls of uncovering the effects of Agent Orange in Laos and Cambodia. Andrew Wells-Dang will introduce case studies of U.S. non-governmental support for landmine/UXO action in all three countries. Ha Pham will provide the Vietnamese perspective of the war legacies and reconciliation progress in the postwar period.

In all, the discussants, bridging perspectives of different disciplines, generations, and institutions, will provide fresh interpretations of postwar history in Southeast Asia and a critique of U.S. efforts at reconciliation with its former enemies. Presentations will stimulate a provocative discussion among panelists and with audience members.

Organizer : Hai Nguyen (Harvard Kennedy School)

Chair : Kim Korinek (University of Utah)

Discussants :

Vietnam Studies Group (VSG)

Friday, March 17, 2023 / 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

· Boston Sheraton Hotel – Public Garden (5th Floor)

This event is the annual meeting of the Vietnam Studies Group: a member of the Southeast Asian Council (SEAC).

G012 – History, Community and Memory: The Vietnamese Past in the Vietnamese American Present – Sponsored by Vietnam Studies Group

Saturday, March 18, 2023 / 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

· Hynes Convention Center – Meeting Room 209 (Second Level)

In the past two decades, new generations of academics have grappled with the dynamic relationship between the Vietnamese diaspora and its homeland. A forthcoming edited volume seeks to provide a “framework for Vietnamese America studies” that “present[s] a new Vietnamese American historiography that began in South Vietnam [formally the Republic of Vietnam]”, pointing to the (former) nation with which many studies of transnational and diasporic Vietnamese implicitly interact. This panel seeks to make this connection explicit. To open, Tuong Vu will discuss the connections between Vietnamese and diasporic studies. These two fields rarely interact, yet fruitful exchanges can be made to enrich both. The panel then features three panelists who display this interaction between South Vietnam(ese history) and its diaspora. With a longue durée and transnational approach, Cindy Nguyen uncovers the significance and legacies of building postcolonial Vietnamese literary heritage through the Saigon national library. John Tran examines a particular intellectual who, in traversing geographical and cultural boundaries, helped to develop an RVN-centric cosmopolitanism that continues to service the Vietnamese diaspora today. Finally, Alvin Bui looks at competing diasporic Vietnamese and Vietnamese historicizations of an RVN-era film in the lead-up to and after its recent digitalization by the film producer’s grandnephew. As seen through our panel, the presence of the (South) Vietnamese past in the Vietnamese American present allows us to find the convergence of Vietnamese and diasporic Vietnamese studies.

Organizers : John Tran (University of Washington, Seattle) ; Alvin K Bui (University of Washington, Seattle)

Chair : Nu-Anh Tran (University of Connecticut)

Discussants : Nu-Anh Tran (University of Connecticut) ; Thy Phu (University of Toronto, Scarborough)


G018 – War Dead Identification and the Politics of Reconciliation: The Case of the Vietnam War (Part 1)

Saturday, March 18, 2023 / 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

· Boston Sheraton Hotel – Gardner B (3rd Floor)

This panel examines the scientific and vernacular endeavors to account for and commemorate the dead of the Vietnam War in Vietnam and the United States. Finding, identifying, and placing the remains of the war dead in the social and political order are processes crucial for healing and reconciliation in the aftermath of violent conflicts. In the case of the war dead of the Vietnam War, these processes are embedded within complex historical and contemporary contentions between North and South Vietnam, Vietnam and the U.S., as well as DNA-based forensic science and local spiritual traditions. In Vietnam, while war dead have received differential treatment from the post-war communist state—those fighting for North Vietnam commemorated as martyrs while South Vietnamese military dead marginalized from public memory—the state’s recent adoption of a forensic genetics-centered accounting program to identify fallen soldiers has met with resistance from local families, communities, and religious actors. In the U.S., the remembrance and repatriation of the remains of American Missing In Action service members in Vietnam continue to generate new possibilities and tensions for Vietnam-U.S. bilateral relationships and American public memory culture. Based on ethnographic, archival, and media research, the four papers explore, from the perspectives of North and South Vietnam, and the U.S., how the physical remains of the dead from the Vietnam War tenaciously evoke a past that refuses to be buried and a future that promises the possibility of reconciliation and geopolitical resignification.

Organizer : Dat M. Nguyen (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies)

Chair : Merav Shohet (Boston University)

Discussants : Hue-Tam Ho Tai (Harvard University) ; Christina Schwenkel (University of California, Riverside)


H021 – War Dead Identification and the Politics of Reconciliation: The Case of the Vietnam War (Part 2) – Sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace

Saturday, March 18, 2023 / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

· Boston Sheraton Hotel – Arnold Arboretum (5th Floor)

This roundtable extends the discussion of war dead identification and the politics of reconciliation after the Vietnam War in Part 1 from various disciplinary, historical, and religio-cultural vantage points. Continuing the discussion of U.S.-Vietnam relationship, Andrew Wells-Dang examines the reconciliation process between the two countries and peoples by discussing the various meanings that Americans and Vietnamese attach to bilateral cooperation on wartime remains recovery. Anh Sy Huy Le reflects on the complex dynamics with which Chinese communities navigated the competing forces of long-distant and revolutionary nationalism amidst the wars in Vietnam and on their implications for postwar reconciliatory politics. Hoang Minh Vu focuses on the Vietnamese refugee crises exacerbated by violence against ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia and postwar political upheavals and the challenges they posed for the reconciliation process, particularly between Vietnam and Cambodia. Tuan Hoang examines the Vietnamese Catholic’s experience and reflects on how the political form of reconciliation can resonate with and diverge from religious notions of forgiveness. Together, the five discussants highlight the fraught processes of reconciliation following the Vietnam War, including migration, people-to-people exchange, and diplomatic rapprochement, as well as transnational violence, inter-ethnic tensions, socio-political turmoil, and religious restrictions. These legacies continue to generate, but also challenge, the frameworks and possibilities for social healing.

Organizer : Dat M. Nguyen (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies)

Chair : Ann Marie Leshkowich (College of the Holy Cross)


K014 – Margins of the Sea and the Sea As Margin: Comparing and Connecting Early Modern Korea and Vietnam in Maritime East Asia – Sponsored by Korea Vietnam Working Group

Sunday, March 19, 2023 / 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

· Hynes Convention Center – Meeting Room 201 (Second Level)

If the Sinitic cosmopolis is what gives East Asia its cultural coherence, then Korea and Vietnam are tucked away along its furthest fringes. If the sea is what connected East Asia’s distant fringes, then it is also what kept Korea and Vietnam from one another. This panel explores the early modern history of Korea and Vietnam through the lens of multiple marginalities: as margins in the East Asian field as an area studies discipline; as margins of a Sinocentric intellectual and cultural ecumene, as margins to the maritime world of crisscrossing flows of oceanic trade; and as land-based territorial states for whom the sea itself was a marginal frontier.

The four papers in this panel tackle this intersection of historiography, maritime (or blue humanities), comparative history, and connected history from a number of perspectives. John S. Lee describes the link between ecological changes in the Korean littoral to an emergent sense of the maritime in late Chosŏn Korea’s administrative and intellectual culture. These shifts brought the agrarian Chosŏn state into new relationships with its maritime frontier, changes that connected Korea in concrete, material terms to a wider maritime network. While Chosŏn and Vietnamese administrative culture often overlooks these connections, the experience of Korean castaways in regions as far away as Qing Fujian reveals, as Jaymin Kim shows, a shared set of norms anchored by literacy in Sinitic, governed these maritime interactions.

Organizer : Sixiang Wang (University of California, Los Angeles)

Chair : Suyoung Son (Cornell University)

Discussant : Xing Hang (Brandeis University)


K029 – Moral Money? Investment Strategies for Life, Afterlife, and National Salvation in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Vietnam.

Sunday, March 19, 2023 / 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

· Hynes Convention Center – Meeting Room 110 (Plaza Level)

Over the last few years, Vietnam’s leadership has made a substantial effort to promote and elaborate the idea of “Vietnamese business ethics” as is testified by high-profile events, conferences, publications, and media articles. The emphasis on the importance of commerce and of the pursuits of wealth, as well as the attempts to navigate their ambiguous morality, are not new in Vietnam and, in fact, have strong historical antecedents. However, the historiography remains unfit to give insight into either the development of the discourse on business ethics in Vietnam, and even less so – into how, why and what people invested their funds into throughout different time periods. This panel is an attempt to launch a discussion of this fundamental aspect of history with four presentations looking into several ways in which money was put to use in Vietnam’s past, and their interplay with the discourses on ethics and politics.

Lou Vargas’ presentation will discuss the role of communal donations in the village economies of 18th century Bắc Ninh. Vy Cao will talk about non-commercial circulation of books in the Mekong Delta as a major part of the publishing boom of the 1920-1930s. Anthony Morreale will trace the birth of commerce as a virtue of national importance on the pages of the first Vietnamese language business magazine, Nông cổ mín đàm. Lastly, Maria Baranova offers a biographical sketch of the most influential Vietnamese businessman of Indochina, Bạch Thái Bưởi, with the analysis of his complicated legacy.

Organizer : Maria Baranova (George Washington University)

Chair : Shawn F McHale (George Washington University)

Discussant : Shawn F McHale (George Washington University)