CFP: Imperial Afterlives: The US, Vietnam, and the Global Imagination

Volume 38, Number 3 /2008 of Canadian Review of American Studies


Canadian Review of American Studies

Special Issue: Imperial Afterlives: The US, Vietnam, and the Global

Guest Editors: Timothy K. August, Vinh Nguyen, Evyn LÃEspiritu

Capture d’écran 2016-02-12 à 19.22.21This special issue investigates the many ways Vietnam and its diaspora continue to be shaped through affective and political engagements with the US and other global actors. Taking seriously American Studies, a commitment to the transnational turn, this issue will explore how US military action and empire has served to position Vietnam and Vietnamese people on the world stage. We seek to understand the Vietnam War and its aftermath as global events in which bodies, memories, and epistemologies circulate and endure through various means and in varying sites.

Scholars such as Mimi Thi Nguyen, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, and Yen
Espiritu have shown that narratives about Vietnamese refugees are vital
in (re)producing the rescue/liberation narratives that justify the
United States’ economic, political, and military interventions. We would
like to build on this insight by examining the different and multiple
ways that Vietnam, (diasporic) Vietnamese bodies, and histories of the
Vietnam War /signify /around the globe. In other words, what reading and
narrative practices, racial logic, and/or social structures does Vietnam
and Vietnamese people invoke?

As both Vietnamese people and Vietnam are continually discussed in a
remarkably /comparative /manner, we ask through what means Vietnamese
history, culture, and bodies become integrated, differentiated, or used
in transnational dialogue. As, traditionally, the US and their allies
have played a dominant role in defining the reception and value of
Vietnamese bodies, in this special issue we turn to cultural and social
texts to examine how a series of counter-memories, negative affects, and
commercial desires work together to imagine possible futures for
Vietnam, Vietnamese Americans, and other refugees.

We are interested in broad understandings of the Vietnam War and its
legacies and thus encourage varied approaches to the theme of this
issue. We welcome papers that explore:

* The mediated reception of Vietnamese bodies and culture through
American systems of interpretation
* The role Vietnamese history plays in the creation of contemporary
global politics and cultural narratives
* The project of creating more localized as well as globalized
Vietnamese and Vietnamese American histories
* Diasporic Vietnamese communities both in and outside the US, and how
they relate to one another
* New relationships and utopian impulses generated by an engagement
with Vietnamese experiences
* The historical positionality of Vietnam as a site through which to
imagine anticolonial and/or third world alliances
* The work of refugee literature and critical refugee studies

Please submit an abstract (500 words) and brief bio (100 words) to
Timothy K. August (, Vinh Nguyen
(, and Evyn Espiritu
( by April 15, 2016


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