website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University


August 2015

Twenty Vietnamese songs on war and refugees

Bài lời Việt theo sau bài tiếng Anh. Hai bài hao hao nội dung nhưng không giống hẳn. The Vietnamese portion follows the English. I cater each language to different readers and they aren’t entirely the same.

April 30 was of course the climax of the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of mass Vietnamese migration to the U.S.  But there’s still a lot of the anniversary year left.

April 30, 2015 in Little Saigon, Orange County

Tomorrow is the first day of classes at my institution, and I will continue to honor this anniversary by posting about Vietnamese music related to war and refugees throughout the fall semester and into the spring semester.


Video: Great Books in Fall 2014

It’s New Student Orientation, and earlier today I had the pleasure of meeting students assigned to my Great Book I sections, plus their parents in a separate meeting. I showed both groups the following video about the same class a year ago.

I hope you’ll get a kick watching even though (or because) it highlights activities other than discussion, which constituted the bulk of class time. “I love the discussion that occurs in this class,” wrote a student in the course evaluation, “This class is essentially many intelligent people gathering to discuss ideas and perspectives.”


Viola the refugee

GB II Twelfth Night
APRIL 2015. Neal Kelley assists students staging Act 4 Scene 1 to a Coachella Music Festival setting.

Continue reading “Viola the refugee”

Starting point for a literary history of Vietnamese in the U.S.

What did the first waves of Vietnamese refugees in America think about themselves? What was their mindset regarding their place in the world?  Is it possible to write a coherent literary history of their experience?

Cover of the book under discussion, next to a collection by Thái Tú Hạp published three years later ~ Source:

The search for answers can take different directions and have different starting points.  In my opinion, it isn’t a bad idea to begin with a collection of poetry, essays, memoirs, and fiction entitled Tuyển Tập Thơ Văn 90 Tác Giả Việt Nam Hải Ngoại 1975-1981: Selected Poetry and Prose from Ninety Vietnamese Writers Abroad, 1975-1981 (Missouri City, TX: Văn Hữu, 1982). KEEP READING!

The perfect Beatles love song

Here’s my first blog post ever from ten years ago this week, when I was in grad school.  How time flies! It’s slightly edited with added links and photos.

One of my fondest memories of last year was getting together every now and then with two grad friends to strum acoustic guitars and sing Beatles songs. Frequently enough, we did “Here, There and Everywhere,” with art historian Jen in lead vocal, fellow Americanist Matt in solo guitar, and me on rhythm guitar and backing vocal.

We rendered the song as close to the original recording as possible, and at the end of one such rendition, the normally low-key and quiet Matt let out, “It’s the best Beatles song ever!” KEEP READING!

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