University of Oregon Engaging With Vietnam


5-7 November 2014
Eugene, Oregon, USA

Co-Organizing Partners

University of Oregon & University of Hawaii at Manoa - USA


Tuong Vu (University of Oregon), Phan Le Ha (University of Hawaii Manoa, Monash University, & VNU Hanoi), Liam C. Kelley (University of Hawaii Manoa)


Lê Thùy Linh


Frontiers and Peripheries: Vietnam Deconstructed and Reconnected

The core theme of the Sixth Engaging with Vietnam conference was “Frontiers and Peripheries: Vietnam Deconstructed and Reconnected.” We invited participants to think of Vietnam not as a self-contained entity as in the conventional way. Instead, we wanted to deconstruct Vietnam, both as a frontier or periphery of larger entities and as containing in itself distinct frontiers and peripheries. The larger entities of which Vietnam constitutes a periphery or frontier could be some larger geographical/historical/cultural/economic/political zones, such as wet-rice economy, Chinese civilization, the Indo-Malay world, European imperialism, the Roman Catholic Church, Cold War camps, the K-pop wave, transnational social movements, transnational crimes, global capitalism, and diasporic communities.

Some of the questions we were interested in were: Where have Vietnamese situated themselves when they think of the broader world around them? How has Vietnam’s peripheral or frontier status shaped its history, culture, society, politics, and the identities of its people? What characterizes the major patterns of Vietnamese interactions with the center/metropole as well as with other peripheral or frontier areas? While external powers have historically sought to dominate Vietnam, Vietnamese in history and in the contemporary era have themselves sought to colonize other frontiers and peripheries. How have Vietnamese rationalized such events? How do they integrate internal frontiers and peripheries in their thoughts and acts? Can we think of Vietnam as an empire? Our aim was for participants to experiment with new conceptualizations in order to show aspects of Vietnamese history, culture, economy, and politics in a fresh light.

Keynote and Invited Speakers

Tuong Vu Engaging With Vietnam

Tuong Vu

Dr. Tuong Vu is an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon, and has held visiting fellowships at the National University of Singapore and Princeton University. His book, Paths to Development in Asia: South Korea, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia (Cambridge, 2010), received a 2011 Bernard Schwartz Award Honorable Mention. He is also co-editor of Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture (Palgrave, 2009) and Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis (Stanford, 2008). His articles have appeared in many scholarly journals, including World Politics, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, South East Asia Research, and Theory and Society. Currently he is writing a book about the Vietnamese revolution as a case of radical movements in international politics.

Phan Le Ha Monash Engaging With Vietnam

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.

Liam C. Kelley Engaging With Vietnam

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.

Vu-Thanh Tu-Anh Engaging With Vietnam

Vu-Thanh Tu-Anh

Dr. Vu-Thanh Tu-Anh is the Dean the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (Fulbright University Vietnam) in Ho Chi Minh City, and a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Vu-Thanh’s primary research interests include political economy, public finance, economic development, and industrial policy. He has been leading Fulbright School’s policy research and analysis efforts. He teaches regularly in the Fulbright School’s executive education and policy dialogue initiatives with the Vietnamese government.

Dr. Vu-Thanh has served as a member of The Consultative Group of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Committee of Economic Affairs. He has also been a member of the Board of Experts of The National Financial Supervisory Commission of Vietnam. He frequently comments on economic policy issues in the Vietnamese media. He is currently an op-ed columnist for the Saigon Economic Times, a leading economic and business journal in Vietnam. Dr. Vu-Thanh received his MA and PhD degrees in economics from Boston College.

Christopher Goscha Engaging With Vietnam

Christopher Goscha

Dr. Christopher Goscha is Professor of International History in the History Department of the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has published widely on colonial Indochina and the wars for Indochina, including Vietnam: A State of War, 1945-1954 (Armand Colin, 2011; in French) and a Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War (University of Hawaii/NIAS, 2012). He is currently writing a social history of Saigon and Hanoi in a time of war, 1940-1954.

Dang Van Huan Engaging With Vietnam

Vu-Thanh Tu-Anh

Dr. Huan Dang (Dang Van Huan) has been a tenured official of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam since 2003. Currently, he is working with the Center for Public Service, Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University (PSU) as Vietnam Program Manager & Director for Vietnam Relations of the 20th Anniversary of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations between United States and Vietnam Grant. One of his major roles is to work with both PSU and Vietnamese institutions to develop public leadership training programs for senior public officials of Vietnam.

With a scholarship from the Vietnamese government and PSU, Dr. Dang completed his PhD Program in Public Affairs and Policy at Portland State University in 2012. Earlier, he received the Master of Public Administration Degree in 2007 at Roger Williams University, in Rhode Island, U.S. and earned his Bachelor Degree in International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in 2001.

Dr. Dang’s specialization and research interests include: Vietnam contemporary politics and policy changes; policy process theories; policy change models; higher education policies and development of Vietnam, South Korea, and China; public leadership training for Vietnam; Vietnam’s state-owned enterprise management policies, and democratization process in Asia.

Nguyen Tuan Cuong Engaging With Vietnam

Nguyen Tuan Cuong

Dr. Nguyen Tuan Cuong is a lecturer at the Section of Sino-Nôm Studies, Department of Literature, Vietnam National University-Hanoi (VNU). He majors in Sinology, Nôm script, Literary Sinitic, and Vietnamese Confucianism. He has published an individual monograph on Nôm script in translated texts of The Classic of Poetry in Vietnam (Hanoi, 2012), and a translation of a book on Chinese Sinology in the 20th century (Hanoi, 2010). He has presented conference papers in Vietnam, China, Japan and Taiwan. Nguyen Tuan Cuong is currently a Visiting Scholar at Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University, from August 2013 to May 2014, where he is conducting research on Confucian cultural practices in South Vietnam, 1955-1975.

Kimberly Hoang Engaging With Vietnam

Kimberly Hoang

Dr. Kimberly Hoang is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Boston College. She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and in 2012 she won the American Sociological Association Best Dissertation Award. Dr. Hoang is the author of Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendency, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies in Global Sex Work (forthcoming 2015 with the University of California Press) and the lead editor of Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisioning New Solutions, an edited collection commissioned by Open Society and published in 2014. She is interested in the links between changing political economies and intimacy, globalization and transnationalism, and gender and migration. She has written and published academic journal articles in Social Problems, Gender & Society, The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and Sexualities as well as news articles for BBC on the global sex industry in Vietnam.

Peter Zinoman Engaging With Vietnam

Peter Zinoman

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.

Nu-Anh Tran Engaging With Vietnam

Nu-Anh Tran

Dr. Nu-Anh Tran is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, Academia Sinica, in 2013-2014. Her dissertation, entitled, “Contested Identities: Nationalism in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), 1954-1963,” examines the origins of South Vietnamese nationalism and conflicts between noncommunist nationalists during Ngô Đình Diệm’s tenure. Her research interests broadly include the political, intellectual, and cultural history of the resistance war (1945-1954) and the Republic of Vietnam (1954-1975). She will start as Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut in fall 2014.

Ben Kerkvliet Engaging With Vietnam

Ben Kerkvliet

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).

Erik Harms Engaging With Vietnam

Erik Harms

Dr. Erik Harms is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International and Area Studies at Yale University, specializing in urban anthropology, Southeast Asia, and Vietnam. His ethnographic research in Vietnam has focused on the social and cultural effects of rapid urbanization on the fringes of Saigon—Ho Chi Minh City. His book, Saigon’s Edge: On the Margins of Ho Chi Minh City (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), explores how the production of symbolic and material space intersects with Vietnamese concepts of social space, rural-urban relations, and notions of “inside” and “outside.” He has published articles in Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, City & Society, Pacific Affairs, Positions, and is the co-editor of Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity (Hawaii, 2013). Harms is currently writing a book about the demolition and reconstruction of the urban landscape in two of Ho Chi Minh City’s New Urban Zones, Phu My Hung and Thu Thiem.

Janet Hoskins Engaging With Vietnam

Janet Hoskins

Dr. Janet Hoskins is Professor of Anthropology and Religion at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her books include The Divine Eye and the Diaspora: Vietnamese Syncretism Becomes Transpacific Caodaism (University of Hawaii 2015), The Play of Time: Kodi Perspectives on History, Calendars and Exchange (1996 Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies, University of California), and Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of People’s Lives (Routledge 1998). She is the contributing editor of four books: Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field (with Viet Thanh Nguyen, University of Hawaii 2014), Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia (Stanford 1996), A Space Between Oneself and Oneself: Anthropology as a Search for the Subject (Donizelli 1999) and Fragments from Forests and Libraries (Carolina Academic Press 2001). She served as President of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion from 2011-13, and has produced three ethnographic documentaries (distributed by www.der.org), including “The Left Eye of God: Caodaism Travels from Vietnam to California.”

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).

Angie Ngọc Trần Engaging With Vietnam

Angie Ngọc Trần

Dr. Angie Ngọc Trần is Professor of Political Economy at CSU Monterey Bay. She received fellowships at the National University of Singapore, Stanford University, University of Wollongong, Australian National University and was a Fulbright Professor at Hanoi National University (1999-2000). Her 2013 book, Ties That Bind: Cultural Identity, Class, and Law in Vietnam’s Labor Resistance, covers labor protests from the French colonial period to the 21st century global market system and worker agency in all types of enterprises in Vietnam. Her 2012 co-authored Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Competitiveness for SMEs in Developing Countries: South Africa and Vietnam brings in voices of Vietnamese workers and owners in small-medium sized enterprises. Her 2004 co-edited volume with Melanie Beresford, Reaching for the Dream: Challenges of Sustainable Development in Vietnam analyzes how market and labor institutions can support long-term development. Her articles have appeared in Labor Studies Journal, International Journal of Institutions and Economies, Harvard International Review, Amerasia Journal, and Review of Social Sciences (Ho Chi Minh City). Her ongoing research and manuscripts are on Vietnamese workers in South-South migration, focusing on race/ethnicity, gender and religion; critical analysis of the CSR initiative; and impacts of industrial policies (in textile/garment and electronics industries) on Vietnamese labor.

Osman Z. Barnawi Engaging With Vietnam

Osman Z. Barnawi

Dr. Osman Z. Barnawi has a Ph.D. in Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Education in TESOL from the University of Exeter, U.K. He is currently Director of the English Language Center at Royal Commission Colleges and Institutes, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. He teaches at the Department of Applied Linguistics of RCY, and holds an adjunct position at King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His recent book is Examining Formative Evaluation of an ESP Program (July 7, 2011). He has published extensively in international referred journals. He is also a regular presenter in local and international conferences. His research interests include second language writing, teachers’ identities, critical pedagogy, crisis leadership in higher education, performance assessment in higher education, language program evaluation, internationalization of higher education, curriculum design and development, and teacher education.

At this conference, Dr Barnawi will present a paper addressing a number of critical issues regarding the role of US higher education in Saudi Arabia’s  local capacity building. This paper is a part of an invited panel organised by Phan Le Ha. The panel will feature four papers addressing higher education issues across various contexts and settings.

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).

At this conference, Dr Barnawi will present a paper addressing a number of critical issues regarding the role of US higher education in Saudi Arabia’s  local capacity building. This paper is a part of an invited panel organised by Phan Le Ha. The panel will feature four papers addressing higher education issues across various contexts and settings.

William Chapman Engaging With Vietnam

William Chapman

Dr. William Chapman is Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and Professor and Acting Chair in the Department of American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Educated at Columbia (M.S. in Historic Preservation, 1978) and at Oxford University in England (D.Phil.in Anthropology, 1982), he specializes in architectural recording, the history of historic preservation and materials conservation. A four-time Fulbright scholar and American Candidate at the International Center for Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome (ICCROM), he has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and has served as a lecturer at Silpakorn, Kasetsart and Chulalongkorn Universities in Thailand and at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is a frequent contributor to UNESCO projects and is a member of the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) International Scientific Committees on the Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration and on Vernacular Architecture. Widely published in scholarly journals, he has also written on subjects ranging from the historic Volcano House Hotel in Hawai‘i to the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. His most recent publication is A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2013). Married and the father of two daughters, and two stepchildren, he lives in Honolulu and in Bangkok.

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