Engaging With Vietnam


4–10 October 2016
University of Hawaii at Manoa


The University of Hawaii at Manoa


Phan Lê Hà and Liam C. Kelley


Lê Thùy Linh, Nezia Azmi, Chisato Nonaka, Wendan Li, Hieu Nguyen, Quynh Vo, Huy Phung, Chau Giang Truong


Engaging With Vietnam through Scholarship and the Arts

The Engaging with Vietnam conference series has always encouraged dialogues between disciplines. It is in that spirit that this year’s conference sought to facilitate conversations between various academic disciplines and the arts.

In recent years the Vietnamese arts world – be it music, painting or performance – has been very active and dynamic in attempting to “engage with Vietnam,” in the broadest sense, in our current era of globalization and societal change. Alongside the featuring of signature scholarship from scholars in various academic disciplines, in this year’s conference we also highlighted in our keynote sessions the work of various artists and their engagements with Vietnamese society, culture and history as a way to build connections between the arts world and academia. We found that both of these communities ask many of the same questions, but they, for most part, remain rather disconnected. Therefore, by engaging the two in a dialogue we sought to encourage everyone to work together more productively and creatively and to find more rigorous and interdisciplinary answers to their questions.

Keynote and Invited Speakers

8th EWV Phan Le Ha

Phan Lê Hà

Dr. Phan Lê Hà (Phan is the family name) 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.

8th EWV Liam C. Kelley

Liam C. Kelley

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. 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 (leminhkhai.wordpress.com) and its associated YouTube channel.

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

Fazal Rizvi Engaging With Vietnam

Fazal Rizvi

Born in India, Professor Fazal Rizvi was educated in India, Australia and the UK, and is currently a professor in Global Studies in Education at the University of Melbourne and an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. He is also a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a board member of the Asia Education Foundation. He has published extensively on issues of identity and culture in transnational contexts, theories of globalization and education policy and more recently Indian higher education. His latest book is Globalizing Education Policy (Routledge 2010). His selected papers have recently been published under the title, Encountering Education in the Global (Routledge 2014).

Trịnh Lê Anh Engaging With Vietnam

Trịnh Lê Anh

Trịnh Lê Anh, Department of Events Management, Faculty of Tourism Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Hanoi, is also an inspiring lecturer and a well-known TV show host, MC, and event conductor. Le Anh has been engaged in different forms of the arts and performances alongside his interests and expertise in tourism and development studies, and the social and cultural issues surrounding festivals and events in Vietnam. In his capacity as MC Le Anh in numerous major events, he has had a strong public influence in the Vietnamese society.

Jason Gibbs Engaging With Vietnam

Jason Gibbs

Jason Gibbs holds a PhD in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Pittsburgh and has been researching Vietnamese popular music for more than 20 years. He wrote the entry for Vietnam for the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. He has presented papers at meetings of The Society for Ethnomusicology, Popular Culture Association, and International Association for the Study of Popular Music and has published papers in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Asian Music and Southeast Asian Research. Selections from this research was published in Vietnam as the book Rock Hanoi, Rumba Cuu Long (Tri Thuc, 2008). Recently he wrote liner notes for the Grammy nominated CD/book box set Longing for the Past: The 78 Era in Southeast Asia. He has also written articles for the Thể Thao và Văn Hóa newspaper, the BBC Vietnamese Language service webpage for his blogs as Tây Bụi.

Dat Bao Engaging With Vietnam

Dat Bao

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.

Pierre Asselin Engaging With Vietnam

Pierre Asselin

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.

Jonathan Warren Engaging With Vietnam

Jonathan Warren

Dr. Jonathan Warren is a Full 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).

Donald B. Young

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.

Peter Arnade Engaging With Vietnam

Peter Arnade

Dr. Peter Arnade is dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and professor of history. His scholarship has concerned early modern history.

Ngô Hồng Quang Engaging With Vietnam

Ngô Hồng Quang

Over the years, Ngô Hồng Quang and his magical Đàn Nhị have attracted audiences not only in Vietnam but also in Thailand, Korea and the Netherlands. Born and brought up in a village in Hai Duong in the north of Vietnam, at the age of eleven Quang began to learn how to play the Nhị and soon fell in love with it. The instrument has become his companion until today. At the Hanoi Conservatory, he also studied and played Đàn Bầu, a unique Vietnamese instrument with only one string. In addition to the Nhị and Bầu, Quang is a very skillful player of Đàn Tính, Đàn Môi (Jews harp) and Đàn Tre (a modified version of K’ny). Quang is also a good singer, he is famous for a number of Dân ca (folksongs) and the song Tiếng Việt. Some of the songs that Quang composed such as Đêm cuối cùng của mùa Đông, (Ma Làng TV series drama), Tìm Hà Nội, Đàn Cò and Con Cóc Cóc Con are popular now. At the moment, Quang follows his passion in teaching, composing and playing Vietnamese traditional music around the globe. During his trips, Quang did learn new music Composition with teachers and friends in Amsterdam Conservatory of music in The Netherlands.

Frederick Lau Engaging With Vietnam

Frederick Lau

Dr. Frederick Lau is an active ethnomusicologist, flutist, and conductor whose scholarly interests include a broad range of topics in Chinese, Western, and Asian music and cultures. His area of research focuses on Chinese, Asian and Western music, particularly on issues related to identity, nationalism, modernization, politics, globalization, diaspora, and musical hybridity.

He has published widely on traditional Chinese music, music and politics, music and nationalism, music in cross-cultural context, Chinese music in the diaspora, as well as issues related to 20th century Western avant-garde music. He is author of Music in China (Oxford 2008) and co-editor of Vocal Music and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Music: Unlimited Voices in East Asia and the West (Routledge 2012), Locating East Asia in Western Art Music (Wesleyan 2004), and Making Waves: Traveling Musics in Asia and the Pacific (UH Press, upcoming).

His articles have been published in journals such as Yearbook for International Council for Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology, Asian Music, British Forum for Ethnomusicology, Journal of Musicological Research, Sojourn, and as book chapters in collected volumes and in encyclopedias. Lau has received numerous research grants from agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Scholarly Communication with the PRC, and the German Academic Exchange (D.A.A.D.). He served as the former book review editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music and is the editor of a book series entitled Music and Performing Arts of Asia and the Pacific, University of Hawaii Press.

He is the president of the Society for Asian Music and former president of Music of East Asia Study Group and the Association for Chinese Music Research. He served as an external examiner and program reviewer for University of Hong Kong, UCLA, UBC, University of Melbourne, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and National Taipei University of the Arts. He is currently the chair and professor of Ethnomusicology and director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Nguyễn Quốc Thành Engaging With Vietnam

Nguyễn Quốc Thành

Nguyễn Quốc Thành is based in Hanoi, Vietnam. His works, including photography, writing, performance, installation, clothes making, organization of art events explore issues of queer aesthetics and activism. He is a founding member of Nhà Sàn Collective – an independent contemporary art collective in Hanoi. In 2013, he founded and organized the first queer art festival in Vietnam called Queer Forever! – an interdisciplinary platform for sharing love and knowledge on queerness and Vietnamese culture. Apart from making the queer art festival once every two years, Queer Forever! also organizes a regular program of talks, film screenings and art exhibitions.

Nhung Walsh

Nhung Walsh is a curator of Vietnamese and Southeast Asian art. Living in Chicago, Nhung is Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Indochina Arts Partnership, which has supported artists and contemporary art projects in Vietnam since 1987.

With a background in international studies, political science, and history, Nhung’s curatorial interests walk between art and other disciplines. Her projects explore the relationship of artists with the social-political surroundings and their manifestations.

Nhung has curated exhibitions, festivals, and public art programs in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the US. Looking at exhibition-making in a different angel, she often creates exhibitions nesting under other projects, such as the Visualizing War and Changes: Untold Stories of Daily Life from Vietnam through Visual Materials (1945- 2011) as a fiction museum display at the University of Alabama that played with the concept of propaganda, Goodbye to the 40th Anniversary of the Vietnam War (2015) as an experiment of stuffing memories of war from all sides in a living space, and Ke (2015) exhibition as a public art project of traveling artists’ books.

Nguyễn Thị Hạnh Engaging With Vietnam

Nguyễn Thị Hạnh

Dr. Nguyễn Thị Hạnh (PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an associate professor of applied linguistics in the TESOL Program at Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, Hawaii. Her research focuses on the development of interactional competence in second language acquisition and at the workplace, learner identities, and various aspects of Vietnamese applied linguistics (e.g. family discourse, grammar in interaction, pragmatics, and phonology).

Tuan Hoang Engaging With Vietnam

Tuan Hoang

Dr. Tuan Hoang is assistant professor of Great Books at Pepperdine University. He teaches in the Great Books and history programs, and conducts research on Vietnamese intellectual history, especially in South Vietnam, and the history of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants to the U.S. since 1975. His recent publications include “From Reeducation Camps to Little Saigons: Historicizing Vietnamese Diasporic Anticommunism,” in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies (May 2016).

Among Prof. Hoang’s current projects is a comparative study, tentatively called “Shock, Lost, Grief: The Fall of Troy and The Fall of Saigon,” that seeks to examine the outcomes of the Trojan War and the Vietnam War on the part of the Trojans and the South Vietnamese. He also blogs regularly on various academic subjects of interest at his blog www.tuannyriver.com.

Lê Thùy Linh

Dr. Lê Thùy Linh (PhD, Education, Monash University, Australia) has been a lecturer at Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE), Vietnam since 1999. She is currently the head of the English department at Baxter Institute and teaching TESOL at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She has been actively involved in English language training and teacher education through her work with various professional development projects in Vietnam and Australia over the last 18 years. Her research interests include Teacher Education and Teacher Identity, Pedagogy and Assessment in TESOL, Professionalism in ELT, and recently Vocational Training and Education (VET).

Thanh Phùng Engaging With Vietnam

Thanh Phùng

Dr. Thanh Phùng is a lecturer at University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University Hanoi. She has a PhD in curriculum studies from Michigan State University.  Her scholarship focuses on examining historical modes of intelligibility and visibility through philosophical and artistic inquiry. Thanh is also a poet, filmmaker, and blogger (educationmuseum.wordpress.com).

Past Conferences

Engaging With Vietnam Conference #9

HCMC, Bình Dương & An Giang

28 Dec. 2017-4 Jan. 2018

Engaging With Vietnam Conference #8

Honolulu, Hawaii

4–10 October 2016

Engaging With Vietnam Conference #7

Hanoi & Bắc Ninh

7-8 July 2015

Engaging With Vietnam Conference #6

Eugene, Oregon

5-7 November 2014

Thai Nguyen

16-17 December 2013


8-9 November 2012


4-5 December 2011

Engaging With Vietnam Conference #2


30 Nov.-1 Dec. 2010


23-24 February 2010