February 12, 2015
Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University, will host a lecture by Prof. Jana K. Lipman titled “Guam to Palawan: Opposing Narratives of Vietnamese Repatriation, 1975 and 1995.” The lecture—which is co-sponsored by Department of History and the South East Asian Studies Program (AdMU)—will be on Feb. 16, 2015, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Faculty Lounge, 1/f Dela Costa Building, Ateneo de Manila University.
Lipman’s abstract reads: “Hunger strikes. Threats of self-mutilation. Militant Demonstrations. While waiting in refugee camps, Vietnamese men and women engaged in astute, organized campaigns. However, unlike most narratives of Vietnamese refugees and their unquestioned desire to relocate to the United States, in 1975, more than 1,500 Vietnamese men and women waiting in Guam engaged in protests, insisting in no uncertain terms on being repatriated back to Vietnam. In contrast, in the 1990s, Vietnamese men and women organized protests and hunger strikes, but this time, they demonstrated against repatriation and their forced return to Vietnam as directed by the UNHCR’s Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“This talk explores the ‘in between’ space of the refugee camp and analyzes Vietnamese men and women’s political agency and often unstable international position. Struggles over repatriation turn our attention to agency and contingency at the moment in between Vietnam and the United States and reveals uneven power dynamics and contests between Vietnamese men and women, the UN High Commission on Human Rights, the colonial territory of Guam, the US government, the Philippine government, and transnational alliances in the long aftermath of the US War in Vietnam.”
Jana K. Lipman (PhD, Yale University) is an Associate Professor in the History Department at Tulane University. Her first book, Guantánamo: A Working-Class History Between Empire and Revolution (University of California Press, 2009) was the Co-Winner of the 2009 Taft Prize in Labor History. She is also the Co-Editor of Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism (NYU Press, forthcoming 2015). Her work has appeared in American Quarterly,Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of American Ethnic History, Journal of Military History, and Radical History Review. She is also an adviser to the Guantánamo Public Memory Project. Her current book project is on Vietnamese refugee camps in Southeast Asia in the late Cold War, 1975-1997.