The 5th “Engaging with Vietnam – An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” Conference

The 5th “Engaging with Vietnam – An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” Conference

Conference Organization Partners: Monash University – Australia, Thai Nguyen University – Vietnam, The University of Hawaii at Manoa – USA, and University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Vietnam National University Hanoi

December 16-17, 2013

Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen Province, Vietnam

Venue address: Learning Resource Center, Thai Nguyen University –  Tan Thinh Ward, Thai Nguyen City
(Trung tâm Học liệu, Đại học Thái Nguyên –  Phường Tân Thịnh, TP Thái Nguyên)

Conference Theme:

Integrating Knowledge: The Multiple Ways of Knowing Vietnam


To create a different experience for all those who have participated in the Engaging with Vietnam Conferences over the past years and for those who are new to the conference, we, for the first time, will move the conference venue out of Hanoi and to Thai Nguyen, a province in the Northeastern part of Vietnam, only two hours drive from Hanoi (and one hour from the Hanoi airport). Thai Nguyen is a truly multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic region with so much to offer and to stimulate our intellectual exchanges. Also, for the first time, the Engaging with Vietnam Conference will offer its participants the option on the day after the conference to participate in a field trip to a cultural museum, villages and farms in Thai Nguyen to give them opportunities and inspirations to enable multi/interdisciplinary research works and to engage with Vietnam more fully through field observations. The Conference will provide transport to Thai Nguyen from Noi Bai International Airport and from Hanoi, so you will have no trouble traveling to this hospitable land, where our partner institution Thai Nguyen University is located. Details for transport and pickup times can be found at

The first “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” conference was held in 2010 at Monash University and featured Vietnam-related work by Vietnamese and international researchers and research students in Australian universities and organizations. The second and third conferences moved to Vietnam, and saw the added participation of scholars and research students based in Vietnam, Southeast Asia and various other countries around the world. For the fourth “Engaging with Vietnam” conference we moved our centre of gravity once again in order to involve new participants, and also to gain the inspiration which comes from moving beyond familiar boundaries. The 4th Engaging Vietnam Conference continued the traditions developed in the three previous conferences in Hanoi and Melbourne emphasizing policy-relevant interdisciplinary and international academic research and dialogue between Vietnamese and foreign scholars interested in Vietnam. One of the key identities of the Engaging with VN Conference Series is its interdisciplinary research rigour that places knowledge, research and scholarship as well as policy-research dialogues at the core of its agendas.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Australia. Over the course of the past four decades, not only have Vietnam and Australia developed close ties on multiple levels, but Vietnam has also become much more integrated with the rest of the world as well.

For this 5th Engaging with VietnamAn Interdisciplinary Dialogue Conference, we are encouraging participants to reflect on this issue of integration, particularly as it concerns the production of knowledge. 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? Are there some forms of knowledge that cannot be integrated into other ways of knowing? And finally, to what degree has the production of knowledge in Vietnam actually already become integrated with the production of knowledge in other parts of the world? Is the degree of integration the same across the disciplines?

These are some of the questions that the keynote speakers at the conference will be addressing. Participants are welcome to present on their own disciplinary research, but we encourage all participants to reflect on the issues that the conference seeks to address and to include their reflections in their papers and presentations.


Please click here to download the Conference Program.


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.

Dr. Pham Quynh Phuong graduated from Faculty of History, Vietnam National University. In 2005 she received her PhD in anthropology from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. After 2 year postdoctoral research in National Universty of Singagore, she has returned to work in Vietnam as a senior researcher at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.  She has done several researches on popular religions, cultural changes, gender issues among ethnic communities, and transgender in Vietnam. She has also involved in teaching anthropology and cultural studies.



Dr. Peter Zinoman is Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley. His research interests include the cultural, social, and political history of modern Vietnam and the history of 20th century Vietnamese literature. His works include The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001) and a translation (with Nguyen Nguyet Cam) of the colonial-era novel, Dumb Luck (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002). He is currently writing a book on Vu Trong Phung and the emergence of modernism in Vietnam. Professor Zinoman is also one of the co-founders and the former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies.


Dr Pham Hoa Hiep lectures in the English Department at Hue University of Foreign Languages. He has also worked as a teacher educator for various projects in Vietnam. Dr Pham has an EdD from the University of Melbourne, and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His professional interests include teacher education, educational mobility and translation. He has published widely in international journals.



Dr. Pierre Asselin, Professor of History, Hawai’i Pacific University, Pierre Asselin is a diplomatic historian specializing in United States foreign relations, East and Southeast Asia, and international relations during the Cold War.  His primary research area is the Vietnam War, with an emphasis on the decision-making of Vietnamese communist authorities in the period 1954-75.  He speaks Vietnamese and regularly travels to Vietnam for research.  His interest in internationalism and transnationalism during the Vietnam War has taken him to various other document repositories, including the Algerian National Archives.
Asselin is the author of A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), winner of the 2003 Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize, and Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (University of California Press, 2013), winner of the 2013 Arthur Goodzeit Book Award.  Other recent and notable publications include “The Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the 1954 Geneva Conference: A Revisionist Critique” in Cold War History (2011); “Revisionism Triumphant: Hanoi’s Diplomatic Strategy in the Nixon Era” in Journal of Cold War Studies (2011); and “‘We Don’t Want a Munich’: Hanoi’s Diplomatic Strategy, 1965-1968” in Diplomatic History (2012).  He is co-editor of The Cambridge History of the Vietnam War, Volume III: Endings (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming [2018]), and working on the completion of Vietnam’s American War: A History with Documents (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming [2016]), which surveys the Vietnamese communist experience during the Vietnam War.  He is also developing a third monograph exploring the origins and conduct of Hanoi’s so-called diplomatic struggle during the Vietnam War on the basis of archival evidence from Vietnam, Algeria, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  His work has featured prominently in France and as well as in Vietnam.

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. Ben Kerkvliet is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Political and Social Change, School of International, Political & Strategic Studies, Australian National University (ANU). Prior to working at ANU, he worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for almost 20 years. Professor Kerkvliet has produced numerous works on agrarian politics in Southeast Asia and is currently doing research on local reactions to major recent national policies in the Philippines and Vietnam. His is the author of The Power of Everyday Politics: How Vietnamese Peasants Transformed National Policy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005) and the co-editor of Beyond Hanoi: Local Government in Vietnam (Singapore and Copenhagen: ISEAS Publications and NIAS Press, 2004) and Getting Organized in Vietnam: Moving in and around the Socialist State (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003).


Dr. David Del Testa is an Associate Professor of History at Bucknell University. He is the author of ‘Paint the Trains Red’: Labor, Nationalism, and Vietnamese Railroad Workers in French Colonial Indochina, 1898 – 1945 (forthcoming), and such articles as “On the Intimate Edge of Empire: Challenging Representations of Colonial Vietnam’s Métis Community,” “Automobiles and Anomie in French Colonial Indochina,” “Vinh, the Seed that Would Grow Red: The Making of a Revolutionary City in French Indochina,” and “S’adapter pour ne pas être expulsé: les manifestations paysannes de Vinh en 1905” [Conformity over Eviction: Peasant Protest in Vinh in 1905]. He is currently engaged in a project that will utilize a GIS (Geographical Information System) to re-examine the 1930-1931 uprising known as the Nghe Tinh Soviets.


Dr. Ilene Crawford is Professor of English and Women’s Studies and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT USA. She teaches courses in rhetoric, interdisciplinary studies, feminist theory, and pedagogy. Her research examines second language identity formation, English language teacher training, and higher education reform in the US and Vietnam. As a 2010 Fulbright scholar at the University of Education-Ho Chi Minh City she taught American Literature and Intercultural Communication. She is currently a 2015-17 Flex grant Fulbright scholar at the University of Education-Ho Chi Minh City’s Institute for Education Research, where she is researching emerging models of English language teacher training and the impact of liberal arts models of undergraduate education for Vietnamese students.


Dr. Donald B. Young is Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Science Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Young previously served as Director of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) in the College of Education and Director of the Hawai‘i Educational Policy Center. As CRDG Director, Dr. Young oversaw the research and development agenda of the unit as well as its partnership with the University Laboratory School, a K–12 school of approximately 450 students that serves as a laboratory for research and development to improve learning, teaching, and assessment.

Dr. Young has been curriculum developer and principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts. He has been involved for over 35 years in the research, development, dissemination, and evaluation of multiple K–12 science programs that are used in the U.S. and in several foreign countries. In addition, he has worked extensively throughout the Pacific Island islands in support of science education. He taught science in grades 6–9 for 13 years, as well as in undergraduate, graduate, and in-service teacher education programs. His research activities have been in learning and teaching science, program dissemination, multi-dimensional assessment, and program scale up, implementation and maintenance in schools. Dr. Young holds degrees from the State University of New York–Albany and the University of Hawai‘i.

Dr. Jonathan Warren is an Associate Professor of International Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Brazilian Studies, University of Washington, Seattle. He has published extensively in the areas of critical race studies, development, art, and education. Some of his recent work includes “The Diversification of State Power: Vietnam’s Alternative Path to Budgetary Transparency, Accountability and Participation” (in Open Budgets, 2013), “After Colorblindness: Teaching Antiracism to Progressive Whites in the US” (in Teaching Race and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America, 2014), From the Bottom Up (Third World Newsreel, 2015, 61 minutes), and Cultures of Development: Vietnam, Brazil and the Unsung Vanguard of Modernity (Routledge, in press).


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. 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. 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.

Associate Professor Dang Van Minh, Vice-President of Thai Nguyen University, receives his PhD from University of Saskatchewan, Canada and his MSc from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. He has extensive teaching experience in the field of agronomy, soil science and rural development. He is also an expert in agro-forestry and agriculture livelihood for mountainous people. He has experienced working in various rural development projects located in mountainous regions though out Vietnam, especially in the Northern Mountainous Region. He has been also a short-time consultant and participated in monitoring and evaluation activities for various rural development projects in Vietnam funded by GOs and NGOs, such as FAO (1996), Radda-Barnen (Save for Children of Sweden) and CIDSE (1995-1997), ADB (2003), Oxfarm Britain (2003), WB (2005), Danida (2009). He also has experienced in community based development with participatory approach. He has conducted a lot of work in VDP and CDP training and development. He can do a good job in not only field survey in agriculture, but also in education and infrastructure evaluation in rural development projects.

Dr. Liam Kelley is an Associate Professor in the History Department at the Univeristy of Hawaii at Manoa. His research and teaching focuses on mainland Southeast Asian history, and premodern Vietnamese history. Dr. Kelley is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies. He has published a book on envoy poetry (thơ đi sứ), co-edited a book on China’s Southern frontiers, and published articles and book chapters on the invention of traditions in medieval Vietnam, the emergence of Vietnamese nationalism and spirit writing (giáng bút) in early twentieth century Vietnam. He has also completed English translations of the outer annals (ngoại kỷ) of the Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư and the Khâm định Việt sử thông giám cương mực. Dr. Kelley is currently writing a monograph on the modern search for Viet origins and developing his arts-inspired interests on knowledge production which can be found on his personal blog ( and its associated YouTube channel.

Dr. Liam Kelley, since 2011, has been co-developing the Engaging with Vietnam initiative with Dr. Phan Le Ha.