May 2016. I am at work on several articles about the history of Vietnamese Americans on the one hand and, on the other hand, the intellectual history among noncommunist South Vietnamese. Among specific topics on Vietnamese American history are diasporic anticommunism, music by refugees, and perceptions of the U.S. on the part of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants.
Because of war and its complicated aftermath, Vietnamese immigration to America took an unusual path. Among other things, my research attempts to uncover negotiation on the part of their national allegiance after they came to the U.S. and in light of their prior experience.
On South Vietnamese intellectual history, I look to revise some of my dissertation into one or more articles. Or, possibly, to expand some portions into a book-length manuscripts on the history of Vietnamese anticommunism, or on the promotion of the bourgeois person in South Vietnam. So many possibilities, so little time!
On that note, teaching Great Books at Pepperdine has led me to an interest on interpreting the Vietnam Conflict through the lens of the classics. Recently, I’ve conceived a book project tentatively called “Shock, Loss, Grief: The Fall of Troy and the Fall of Saigon.” As the title suggests, it compares and analyzes the endings the Trojan War and the Vietnam War from the perspectives of the Trojans and the South Vietnamese. I call it “a project in the humanities,” for it is envisioned as an exercise in both history and literature.