The 2nd “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” Conference

The 2nd “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” Conference

30th November & 1st December 2010

Conference Venue: Level 8, Building E, University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Vietnam National University

336 Nguyen Trai Road, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi


The 2ndEngaging with Vietnam: An interdisciplinary dialogue’ Conference was held in Hanoi on 30 November and 1 December 2010, hosted by the Faculty of International Studies, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Hanoi.

The conference specifically focuses on dialogues in social sciences, humanities and education. Following the first Engaging with Vietnam conference, which explored how knowledge about Vietnam has been constructed and reconstructed in the context of globalisation, mobility and transnationality, the second conference turns to consider how globalised social sciences and humanities are received, taught, applied and adapted in Vietnam and in studies about Vietnam. We would like to see more participation from those, both inside and outside Vietnam, who work in key disciplines, such as geography, anthropology, sociology, history, political science, international studies, philosophy, economics, literature and education. The main themes include but were not limited to the following:


Please click here to download the Conference Program: .


His Excellency Allaster Cox, former Australian Ambassador to Vietnam

Mr Cox was most recently Assistant Secretary, Global Issues Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Overseas, he has served as High Commissioner in Brunei Darussalam (2001-04), Deputy Head of Mission in Kuala Lumpur (1998-2000), First Secretary, later Counsellor in Jakarta (1992-96) and Third, later Second Secretary in Brunei (1988-1990).
In Canberra, Mr Cox was Assistant Secretary, United States Branch (2006-07), Assistant Secretary, Asia, Americas and Trade Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2004-06), Director, Indonesia Section (1997-98) and Director, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Section (1996-97).
Mr Cox holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics (Hons) degrees from the University of Sydney. He joined the public service in 1987. Mr Cox is married and has two children. He speaks Indonesian and Malay.

Dr. Philip Hirsch is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sydney. He is Director of the Mekong Research Group and chairs the Executive Committee of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Professor Hirsch has research interests in natural resource management and land issues, rural change and the politics of environment and development in Southeast Asia, notably Thailand, Cambodia Laos and Vietnam and the wider Mekong Region. He has been involved with collaborative field projects in each country. He has published widely on environment and development in Southeast Asia and is involved in research and teaching networks among geographers and others in a number of Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. Professor Hirsch is fluent in spoken and written Thai and Lao, speaks and writes intermediate Vietnamese and elementary Khmer.


Dr. Adam Fforde is one of the most widely cited authors working on contemporary Vietnam. He holds an honorary position at the Asia Institute of the University of Melbourne and is part-time Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University. He is also Chairman, Adam Fforde and Associates p/l. He studied Engineering and Economics at Oxford and then worked as an economic consultant in London before taking Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Economics at Birkbeck College London and Cambridge respectively. His PhD (1982) was about agricultural cooperatives in north Vietnam and he was a student at Hanoi University in 1978-79. From 1983-87 he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and since then he has combined academic and consulting work related to Vietnam and to development issues more generally. He worked for the Swedish-Vietnamese cooperation in 1987-92, and was a Senior Fellow at the SEA Studies Program, NUS, in 2000-2001. In Melbourne he has taught sessionally at Monash, Latrobe and the University of Melbourne. His most recent book on Vietnam is Vietnamese State Industry and the Political Economy of Commercial Renaissance: Dragon’s tooth or curate’s egg? Oxford: Chandos 2007. A book on development, Coping with facts – a skeptic’s guide to the problem of development, will be published later this year by Kumarian Press. His current consultancies include studies of the Vietnamese civil service, educational socialization in Ho Chi Minh City and relationships between the environment, foreign trade and human development in various rural sectors in Cambodia.

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed has worked in several countries including Bangladesh, Australia, Germany, India, UK and USA. He has worked extensively as consultant on human settlements and disaster risk management related projects for several international agencies including UNESCAP, UNDP, UN-Habitat, DFID, Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), European Commission Humanitarian Assistance Office (ECHO), Architects Without Frontiers (AWF) and the Bill Gates Foundation (through Urbis). His work had been nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2004.

Iftekhar taught at the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) during 1992-2004; designed the curriculum and worked as coordinator of the Postgraduate Programs in Disaster Management at BRAC University, Bangladesh, which began in 2005, and has served as External Advisor since then. He worked at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Thailand during 2006-07 and was responsible for managing the PROMISE (Program for Hydro-Meteorological Disaster Mitigation in Secondary Cities in Asia) projects in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. He also assisted in ADPC’s regional and national training courses, particularly the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) course.

During 2009 Iftekhar worked as Research Fellow at Monash University, Australia on assessment of post-disaster resettlement programmes. He is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia and involved in research on post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia. He teaches courses on architectural design, urbanization and disaster risk management. Since 2008 he has been working at RMIT University, and presently employed full-time to conduct research on climate change adaptation in urban built environments in the Asia-Pacific region and particularly in Vietnam.

Iftekhar completed his doctorate in 1999 from Oxford Brookes University, UK and Master of Science in 1991 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He graduated in 1987 in Architecture from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), India. He is a member of the Institute of Architects, Bangladesh as well as several other professional bodies. Iftekhar has written several books, professional reports and has many peer-reviewed publications to his credit.

Dr. Ilana Snyder is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. Her current position is Associate Dean Research. Ilana’s research has investigated the changes to social and cultural practices associated with the use of digital technologies and the implications for literacy education. Her most recent books are The Literacy Wars (2008), which examines the politics of the volatile media debates in Australia around literacy education and Closing the Gap in Education? (2010), co-edited with John Niewenhuysen, which explores the education of marginalised peoples and communities in southern world societies.


Dr. Anthony Welch is Professor of Education, University of Sydney. His numerous publications address reforms, principally within Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has consulted to international agencies, governments, institutions and foundations. Project experience includes East and SE Asia, particularly in higher education.  His work has been translated into numerous languages, and he has been Visiting Professor in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, and Hong Kong (China). A Fulbright New Century Scholar (2007-8), his most recent books are The Professoriate: Profile of a Profession (2005), Education, Change and Society (2007), and, [in Press] The Dragon and the Tiger Cubs [on China’s relations with SE Asia).  His forthcoming book on SE Asian higher education will appear in 2010, he is a consultant to the ADB project on Asian Higher Education, and he directs the ARC project, The Chinese Knowledge Diaspora.

Dr. Jonathan Rigg is professor of geography at Durham University in the UK. He has worked since the early 1980s on development issues in Southeast Asia, focusing particularly on agrarian transformations and their impacts on poverty, inequality and livelihoods in Thailand, the Lao PDR and more widely across the region. He is the author of a number of books including “An everyday geography of the Global South” (London: Taylor and Francis, 2007), “Living with transition in Laos: market integration in Southeast Asia” (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005), “Southeast Asia: the human landscape of modernization and development” (London: Routledge, 2003), and “More than the soil: rural change in Southeast Asia” (Harlow, Essex: Prentice Hall, 2001). He has recently edited a three volume reader “Southeast Asian development: critical concepts in the social sciences” (London: Routledge, 2008) and, together with Peter Vandergeest, is currently coordinating a major re-study project examining trajectories of rural change across Southeast Asia.



Associate Professor Dr. Phan Van Que is Dean of the Graduate School of English Language Education, Hanoi University of Business and Technology (HUBT), Vietnam. Prior to this, Dr. Phan was Vice President (Academic Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of English and Modern Languages, Hanoi Open University. He was the Governing Board Member of Vietnam to SEAMEO SEAMOLEC from 2001 to 2011.

Phan Van Que is the recipient of several projects funded by the Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam, including those in the areas of foreign language policy and distance education in Southeast Asian countries.

Phan Van Que sees himself as a mobile scholar. He received his education in Vietnam and Australia. His research areas embed mobility in many ways, including the research sites, nature of inquiry and knowledge flow. He has published in books, journals and has given many presentations at national and international conferences.

Dr. Paul McShane is Chief Research Officer of the Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University. With post graduate qualifications in science and business Paul has held senior research management positions in Australia and in New Zealand. Further to this, he has worked extensively in South East Asia providing advice to governments on sustainable development of marine resources. He is currently responsible for developing and managing major multidisciplinary projects addressing sustainability issues (climate change, energy, water) nationally and internationally on behalf of Monash University.  In previous roles, Paul was managing director of Global Marine Resource Management Pty Ltd, Director of the Australian Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Director of Australian Marine Science and Technology Ltd (AMSAT), Vice President (international and development) and Professor of Marine Science at the Australian Maritime College, research manager SARDI Aquatic Sciences, and program leader at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (New Zealand). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr. Dat Bao is a pedagogist, visual artist and song composer. He provides visual illustrations for textbooks and writes music as a hobby when life inspires. Dat lectures at Monash University and conducts research into creative pedagogy with implications in curriculum design. His recent book Understanding Silence and Reticence(Bloomsbury, 2014) reflects his view on how silence can sometimes become the most meaningful sound in the mind.



Dr. Martin Hayden is Professor and Head of the School of Education at Southern Cross University.  He has published widely on higher education policy, with a focus on issues of governance and equity.  In 2005, he worked as a consultant on the Second Vietnam Higher Education Preparation Project, completing reports on the legislative and regulatory framework for higher education in Vietnam.  In 2007, he worked as a consultant for UNICEF, completing reports on the implementation of the Education Law in the Lao PDR.  In 2008, he was awarded an Australian Government Endeavour Executive Award, which enabled him to return to Vietnam for an extended period for data collection.  Currently, he is Team Leader for a consultancy within the Second Higher Education Project with responsibility for the development of a master plan for Vietnam’s higher education system.


Dr. Grant Harman is an Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Centre for Higher Education Management and Policy at the University of New England. His research interests are mainly in higher education policy and management, particularly from a comparative perspective. Since 2002, he has coordinated the University of New England joint masters degree program in educational management. He is Editor-in-Chief of the refereed journal, Higher Education, published by Springer in the Netherlands.  He has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, UNESCO, IDP Education, SEAMEO RIHED, Australian Education International and the South African Vice-Chancellors’ Association.  In 2005, he worked as a consultant on the Second Vietnam Higher Education Preparation Project.  Currently, he is an international consultant within the Second Higher Education Project with responsibility for the development of governance structures for Vietnam’s higher education system.


Dr. Phan Le Ha (Phan is the family name), PhD, is a Full Professor in the College of Education, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA. Professor Phan also holds adjunct positions at universities in Vietnam and Australia. Her expertise includes language-identity-pedagogy studies, knowledge mobility and production, TESOL, and international and higher education. She is the founder of Engaging with Vietnam, which since 2009 has brought together policy makers, researchers, and professionals working in a wide range of countries and organizations to engage with Vietnam-related scholarship from inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives and approaches. She looks forward to your helping the Initiative to blossom and sustain itself as a continuing rigorous dialogue.

Phan Le Ha’s expertise, knowledge and experiences are largely informed by her work in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and North America. She has been supervising/advising research projects at Honours, Master’s and PhD levels on a wide range of topics, including identity studies, English language education in global contexts, transnational/offshore education, and the internationalisation of education more broadly.

Her publications can be found on:

Professor Phan is currently developing a new interest in engaging with the arts, the media and the digital world to produce multimodal multidisciplinary scholarship and to push research and knowledge production into new directions.

Dr. Pham Quang Minh is associate professor of history and politics at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH), Vietnam National University-Hanoi. After receiving his PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany) in 2002, he first became deputy head, and then head of the International Studies Department at USSH, and in 2012 Pham Quang Minh was promoted to Vice-Rector for research affairs at the university. His main teaching and researching interests include world politics, Asia-Pacific international relations, and Vietnam’s foreign policy. His articles have appeared in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Asia-Pacific Review, and Asia Europe Journal; he has also recently contributed a chapter “East Asia and the Pacific: The Regional Roles of Vietnam and Korea,” to Joon-Woo Park, Gi-Wook Shin, and Donald W. Keyser (eds.), Asias Middle Powers? The Identity and Regional Policy of South Korea and Vietnam, the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University 2013, pp. 73-97.