The Annual Conference

Each year the Engaging With Vietnam conference addresses a new theme, but the underlying emphasis of the conference is always on examining knowledge production about Vietnam in the context of globalization and the mobility of people and ideas.

Over the past 25 years, increased mobility by scholars and students both in and outside of Vietnam, and the ease with which ideas can now be transmitted across the Internet, have led to transformations in how people view, think about, and understand Vietnam.

However, these new ways of thinking have not entirely replaced ideas that were established in the past. The result is that knowledge about Vietnam today is a hybrid mixture of different forms of knowledge.

The Engaging With Vietnam conference series is dedicated to examining these complex, and at times contradictory, ways of knowing Vietnam in an effort to reach a deeper and more sophisticated level of knowledge for all.

A Brief History of Engaging With Vietnam

Knowledge Production

The first conference in Melbourne in 2010 addressed the core theme of how knowledge about Vietnam has been constructed and reconstructed in the context of globalization, mobility and transnationality. . .


. . . while the second conference in Hanoi later that same year focused more specifically on how globalized social sciences and humanities are received, taught, applied and adapted in Vietnam and in studies about Vietnam.

The third conference, also in Hanoi, went a step deeper still to engage with, and question, a DICHOTOMY that is often assumed between "WESTERN" theories in research about Asian contexts and how local "ASIAN" cultures and scholarship may mediate them.

Beyond Boundaries

The fourth conference on “Vietnam Beyond the Boundaries” was held in Honolulu and encouraged participants to consider Vietnam as a land connected to peoples and places beyond its borders. . .

Frontiers and Peripheries

. . . while the sixth conference on “Frontiers and Peripheries: Vietnam Deconstructed and Reconnected” in Oregon invited participants to think of Vietnam not as a self-contained entity as has conventionally been done, but instead to examine Vietnam as a frontier or periphery of larger entities and as containing in itself distinct frontiers and peripheries.

Between the fourth and sixth conferences, the fifth conference, held in Thái Nguyên, returned to the core issue of KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION by examining knowledge production in the context of Vietnam’s “integration” into the world and considering such questions as:

What does it mean when we say that there is scholarly integration between Vietnam and the rest of the world?

What is it that scholarship in Vietnam is integrating with?

Is there only one form of “world scholarship” that can be integrated into?

Or are there many?

Knowledge Journeys / Journeying Knowledge

The seventh conference, in Hanoi and Bắc Ninh, on “Knowledge Journeys and Journeying Knowledge,” looked more closely at the ways that mobility influences and transforms knowledge production, and featured a pioneering forum on Vietnam-US higher education.

The eighth and ninth conferences sought to look at ways that knowledge is produced by, and about, certain fields and professions.

Bao Dat at Engaging With Vietnam

Scholarship & the Arts

The eighth conference returned to Honolulu and focused on the relationship between scholarship and the arts. . .

Tourism, Sustainability
& Development

. . . and the ninth conference was held in Hồ Chí Minh City, Bình Dương and An Giang and focused on tourism, sustainability and development.