Metropolitan Migrations and Interwar Vietnamese Culture

Lecture: Center for Southeast Asia Studies | January 23 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Charles Keith, Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University

 Center for Southeast Asia Studies

This talk explores the metropolitan dimensions of interwar Vietnamese culture. During the colonial era, metropolitan France was a regular stop on the educational, intellectual and journalistic pilgrimages of a small but significant body of Vietnamese elites. These metropolitan sojourns are often cast as radical transitions from an oppressive colonial society to a more culturally and politically open metropole and, as such, as largely peripheral and marginal dimensions of interwar Vietnamese cultural life. This talk instead attempts to illustrate the close ties between Vietnamese migration to France and interwar Vietnamese culture and, as such, the importance of these migrations for postcolonial Vietnam.

Charles Keith (Ph.D., Yale) is the author of Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation (UC Press, 2012), which received the 2015 Harry J. Benda Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, the 2013 Alf Andrew Heggoy Book Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society, and the 2013 John Gilmary Shea Book Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association. His current book project explores the experiences of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians in France during the colonial era, and the consequences of these experiences for their societies during and after this time., 510-642-3609