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Revisiting Viet Nam War History: Understanding the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam

A symposium hosted by the Department of Asian American Studies.

Oct 19, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM

Presentation Room, UC Davis Welcome Center (550 Alumni Lane)

The symposium will discuss the topic of the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN), the military wing of the former South Viet Nam. This seminar serves to give voice to this group and complicate their history. 

The seminar will bring together the following: senior scholar Nathalie Nguyen from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and author of South Vietnamese Soldiers: Memories of the Vietnam War and After (2016); independent scholar, George J. Veith, author of Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-1975 (2013); Nguyen Cong Luan, former ARVN officer and author of Nationalist in the Viet Nam Wars: Memoirs of a Victim Turned Soldier (2012); and Evyn Le Espiritu, PhD Candidate in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and independent film maker, who will screen her short documentary about her great uncle titled, “Who was Colonel Hồ Ngọc Cẩn?”. The event will be moderated by award winning writer, poet, and author of the creative non-fiction essay, "Meta Eulogy: Nguyễn Ngọc Loan By A Vietnamese American" (2015), Mai Quynh Diem (Zora). 

These individuals challenge decades old writings and representations in English that, with limited and biased research, depicted the former South Viet Nam and ARVN in myopic and often disparaging ways. The seminar will also bring up discussions regarding contested memory and how history and its rewriting will affect relations between Viet Nam and its diasporic population. Finally, the symposium will discuss the trends in research that focuses on often forgotten history, like that of ARVN, and asks what drives the upsurge of work in this area. 

This event is to garner interest from faculty, students, and particularly Vietnamese Americans from nearby communities like the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Sacramento where largest numbers of Vietnamese outside of Viet Nam reside. This event is especially important for all UCD students interested in contemporary Viet Nam Studies. By understanding how hidden historical legacies affect Viet Nam’s development, the goal of the event is to inspire students and aspiring New Viet Nam Studies scholars to create more critical knowledge production on Viet Nam's political, economic, and cultural future and ongoing reformation.

Meet-and-greet with authors in Sacramento before the UCD seminar. Hosted by the Vietnamese American Community of Sacramento (VACOS).
Sacramento Vietnamese American Community Center
6270 Elder Creek Road Sacramento, CA 95824
October 19th • 2-4pm

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