Since 2015 the Initiative has successfully hosted speakers and organized symposiums on issues relating to Viet Nam and its diaspora. In Spring of 2017, we had the first “New Viet Nam Studies Cluster Meeting" that brought together long time UCD scholars from diverse disciplines in both the sciences and the social sciences with on-going projects in Viet Nam and scholars who have new interests in Southeast Asia and the country to develop strategies for Viet Nam.
In the heels of Viet Nam’s dramatic rise as the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia in the last few years, and its concerted efforts to engage internationally as a result of it, there has been renewed interest to study contemporary Viet Nam. The New Viet Nam Studies Cluster aimed to directly engage and coordinate research to lead this emerging trend. With a population of 94 million and a literacy rate of 92%, Viet Nam has moved from the international ranking of “poor” to “middle poor.” Its promise for continued growth is also followed by many challenges including environmental concerns.
The initial cluster meeting group included: Pete Hendricks, Richard Plant, Lam Nguyen, Jim Hill, Ladson Hinton and Kieu Linh Caroline Valverde. They all shared their research and interests, and collectively investigated the question “What is Viet Nam?” in the context of strengthening its economy while maintaining its sovereignty and independence. There and many other pertinent research questions that will have practical consequences for Viet Nam and its widening global reach. This, therefore, is the time for us to consider the economic reconstruction and cultural renewal of Viet Nam as it moves beyond the major conflicts of its recent history to chart its own course into the future.
We will also be having a second 2-day New Viet Nam Studies Cluster Meeting on:
May 25, 2017 from 2:00-6:00PM at Hart Hall 3201 Conference Room.
May 26, 2017 from 9AM-5PM at Hart Hall 3201 Conference Room and Hart Hall Room 3114