April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, the end of a war that claimed the lives of an estimated 58,260 American troops and over 4 million Southeast Asians across Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In the U.S. today, “Vietnam” signifies not a country but a lasting syndrome that haunts American politics and society, from debates about foreign policy to popular culture. And what of the millions of Southeast Asian refugees the War created? What, in this moment of commemoration and reflection, are the lasting legacies of the Vietnam War / American War for Southeast Asian diasporic communities?
(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War, a special issue of The Asian American Literary Review slated for release in fall 2015, poses these questions to leading artists, writers, and thinkers. Novel in form and approach, the issue is an innovative teaching tool, contemplating the conflict as both remembered and traumatic event through a wealth of original multimedia art, a sweeping flipbook animation running the length of the collection, spreads of critical-creative cartography, and more. Guest-edited by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Sylvia Chong, with guest curation by Mariam Lam, Viet Le, and Chuong-Dai Vo, the issue features contributions by Monique Truong, Lan Cao, Kao Kalia Yang, Nick Ut, Yen Le Espiritu, Maya Espiritu, Anida Yoeu Ali, Emily Hue, Sayon Syprasoeuth, Soul Vang, Bryan Thao Worra, An-My Le, Yong Soon Min, Hoi Trinh, Viet Nguyen, Phothyzan Bounpaul, Sovan Philong, Frederic Sanchez, Vandy Rattana, Andre Yang, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Cathy Linh Che, Bao Phi, Mai Der Vang, Jai Arun Ravine, Bee Vang and Louisa Schein, Thi Bui, and Simrat Kang, among others.
(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War forms the core of a teaching program that will virtually connect university classrooms across the country to teach and learn together about the War and the worlds it created. You teach the special issue, and we’ll provide dynamic resources and opportunities for interaction with other classrooms. We’ll have in place “digital extras,” videos and podcasts by editors, curators, and contributors, as well as a shared curriculum of activities and projects building from the issue, including interactive virtual spaces designed to put students in conversation with one another. We’ll also help seed one-on-one videoconferencing between classes for those interested. The goal is a national conversation that builds academic community, a dialogue among students and teachers across the U.S. and beyond that challenges and grows our understandings of the War and its complex aftermath.
HOW IT CAN WORK FOR MY CLASSROOM
To accommodate a wide variety of schedules and class needs, we’re making the commitment open-ended: we’ll have the program live throughout the fall and early winter of 2015, from September through mid-December, with curricular materials and exchange possibilities available throughout—but your class can participate for anywhere from a week to the entire academic term.
10 professors at 9 universities have already pledged to participate, and we expect many more as the program develops:
- Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, University of Connecticut
- Sylvia Chong, University of Virginia
- Mimi Khúc, University of Maryland
- Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, University of Maryland
- Catherine Fung, Bentley University
- Y-Dang Troeung, Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong
- Caroline Hong, Queens College, City University of New York
- Audrey Wu Clark, U.S. Naval Academy
- Ma Vang, University of California, Merced
- Sue Kim, University of Massachusetts Lowell
SPECIAL ISSUE/TEACHING PROGRAM SPONSORS
This special issue and its teaching program are proudly sponsored by:
- Institute for Asia and Asia Diasporas at Binghamton University of the State University of New York
- University of Connecticut Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
- University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program
- Southeast Asia: Text, Ritual and Performance
- Race and Ethnic Studies, St. Olaf College
- Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University
- University of California, Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department
- Department of English and the Division of Arts and Humanities at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)
- Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- University of California, Irvine Department of Asian American Studies
- Northwestern University Asian American Studies Program
- University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Asian American Studies
- University of Pennsylvania Asian American Studies Program
If you’re interested in joining the teaching program, sponsoring or otherwise supporting the issue, or learning more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.