Recent Vietnamese history and struggles for independence and national unification vis-a-vis French colonialism, Japanese occupation, American intervention, and internal divisions. Covers historical roots and contemporary contexts of revolution and war, objectives and motivations of participants, and the enormous human costs. Emphasizes socio-cultural changes and wars' legacies. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 265.
This is an in-depth analysis of recent Vietnamese history and the struggles for independence and national unification vis-a-vis French colonialism, Japanese occupation, American intervention, and deep internal divisions. It covers the historical roots and the contemporary contexts of revolution and war, various objectives and motivations of its Vietnamese participants, and the enormous human costs suffered by the wars' victims. It emphasizes profound changes brought about in Vietnamese and, to some degree, American culture and society and probes the wars' lasting political, economic, moral, and intellectual legacies generally and, in particular, in contemporary, post-socialist Viet Nam.
Reflecting the wide array of issues, ideologies, and participants involved in the conflicts, the course will employ a multi-faceted approach, including a basic textbook, primary sources (in English), several memoirs, literature, scholarly articles, and interspersed brief visual documentaries. Classes will be geared towards active learning and conducted in a combination of lectures and discussions. This is a "W" course only when taught with multiple Teaching Assistants (at present, with only one TA assigned, there is no "W" designation).
Student learning goals
historical contextualization (imperialism, anti-colonialism, Cold War, nationalism, etc.)
multi-perspective understanding of modern Viet Nam and the wars in Viet Nam
awareness of nationalist discourses and mythologies, particularly Vietnamese and American ones
General method of instruction
Lectures, discussions, video segments, guest speakers if available, and readings
No prerequisites, but be prepared to read a lot.
Class assignments and grading
Class assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus.
Exams (but no final exam), assignments, active participation.