William L. Davis, S.J., Lecture Series Presents

Davis Lecture 2015

A Lecture by Dr. Bradley Camp Davis

Before the War: Histories of Vietnam in the 21st Century

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lecture 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Panel Presentation 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Wolff Auditorium, Jepson Center, Gonzaga University

This presentation is free and open to the public.

To many Americans, “Vietnam” refers to either the period of US military involvement in Vietnam (“the Vietnam War”) or to political and military decisions that cast a shadow over foreign policy (“the lessons of Vietnam”). However, to many Vietnamese speakers, both in Vietnam and around the world, “Vietnam” represents a cultural, ethnic, national, or linguistic identity as well as a sense of shared history. Since its independence from Chinese rule in the tenth century, Vietnam has endured invasions, civil wars, and colonialism. Thirty years of conflict, including what many Vietnamese speakers call “the American War,” preceded waves of mass migration as many people from Vietnam came to Europe, Australia, and the United States.

This lecture examines the history of Vietnam before the war. Focusing on the French colonial (1860s-1940s) and post WWII periods (1945-1949), it will illuminate the surprising connections between Vietnam and the United States, connections that became obscured in the policies, and the popular imaginations, that dominated the Cold War.

A historian of China and Southeast Asia, Bradley Camp Davis (Ph.D. Washington) has a long association with Vietnam, including his ongoing work with the Yao Script Project. His first book, Imperial Bandits: Cultures of Violence in the China-Vietnam Borderlands, is soon to be published by the University of Washington Press. A former resident and long-time visitor to Spokane, Dr. Davis teaches history and Asian Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University.

For more information, contact Robert Donnelly, History Department at (509) 313-3691 or donnelly@gonzaga.edu.

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