Columbia University hosts Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Conferences on Expanding Vietnamese Studies

Top scholars from Columbia University presented prospects for the burgeoning field of Vietnamese Studies at a multi-city conference in Vietnam, July 28–29, 2022, titled 'Understand the Past; Transform the Future'.
Columbia University hosts Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Conferences on Expanding Vietnamese Studies
John Phan, Assistant Professor of Vietnamese Humanities, delivers a presentation about the Vietnamese Studies programme at Columbia University. (Photo: VA)

The conference featured Columbia faculty, including members of the Columbia Vietnamese Studies programme, alumni, partners, and colleagues in Việt Nam. It was also attended by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hà Kim Ngọc and US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper.

They have highlighted the importance of the study of Vietnam at Columbia, highlighting Vietnam's geostrategic significance, its growing economic strength, and opportunities for developing future partnerships in higher education between Vietnam and Columbia.

Columbia University is home to one of the fastest growing Vietnamese Studies initiatives in the US and is the only higher education institution with two full-time faculty dedicated to Vietnamese Studies: Lien-Hang T. Nguyễn, Dorothy Borg Professor in the History of the United States and East Asia, and John Phan, Assistant Professor of Vietnamese Humanities. They are joined by instructors Phuong Chung Nguyen and Vinh Quoc Nguyen, who teach the Vietnamese language at all levels.

John Phan, Assistant Professor of Vietnamese Humanities, said Vietnam has transformed over the past few decades, and global interest in Vietnam has transformed accordingly. "Meanwhile, new research into Vietnamese language, literature, history, and culture has burst beyond the confines of traditional knowledge and approaches," he said.

Phan said Columbia's Vietnamese Studies programme was a vision defined by a deep engagement with contemporary Vietnamese cultures and societies and a commitment to educating the world about Vietnam's relevance to all fields of study.

In addition to academic programming, the University also hosts numerous virtual and in-person events on Vietnam, attracting an audience of over 1,000 students, scholars, and members of the public. For more information about Vietnamese Studies at Columbia, visit the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures’ website, and read about the launch of the Vietnamese Studies initiative.

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