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Legacies of the American/Vietnam War from Diverse Perspectives


Legacies of the American/Vietnam War from Diverse Perspectives

From the origins of PTSD, to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, and the vivid images of anti-war protest, the legacies of the American War in Vietnam are deeply etched upon American Society.  They are even more deeply etched upon Vietnamese society, which experienced upwards of two million casualties, where all families have witnessed wartime loss, where unexploded ordinance and agent orange still scar the landscape and cause illness and injury and where resilience.   Furthermore, the experiences of Vietnamese Americans capture the experience of flight, loss of homeland, resettlement challenges, and identity formation in the wake of war.  War, and the “Vietnam War,” or “American War” in Vietnam, in particular, is transformative & its transformations warrant close, critical study.

In this course, students will engage with research, literature, film and other art forms, as well as scholars across many disciplines, to arrive at an understanding of war’s transformative effects upon our lives, the lives of civilians and combatants, and upon communities and societies writ large.  Particular attention will be focused upon oral history, among other methods, as a means of documenting war’s persistent influences upon health, identity, landscape, memory, family, and relationships.  The co-instructor team will bring diverse research, film, music, and guest speakers to the course to enrich and deepen perspectives on war’s legacies.

This Praxis Lab will also feature a unique opportunity for international learning and exchange with student peers in Vietnam.  Using a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) approach, students will learn together and create collaborative projects together with students enrolled in a partner course at Fulbright University in Saigon, Vietnam.  Through this approach, students will gain unique insights into the ways that war’s legacies carry on across “multiple sides” of conflict, and they will gain experience and skills in cross-cultural communication and teamwork.  Last but not least, there will be a Fall break class trip to Vietnam to visit places and meet people affected by war, and to work face-to-face with students at Fulbright University.

Instructors’ bios:

Kim Korinek is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Asia Center at the University of Utah.  Her interests include health and aging, migration, and armed conflict’s consequences for families, communities, and societies.  She is passionate about Vietnam and Southeast Asia & looks forward to sharing this excitement with students in this course.  Professor Korinek is currently leading an international team of researchers in the Vietnam Health and Aging Study, which explores how wartime experiences and stressors influence health and aging processes among survivors of the American War in Vietnam.

Stormy Shepard, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of Utah.  Biosketch coming soon.

Nam Nguyen, Professor of Vietnamese Studies, Fulbright University (https://fulbright.edu.vn/our-team/nguyen-nam/).  Biosketch coming soon.

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