“Vietnamese American Experience” examines Vietnamese American identities and communities through a sustained critique of United States imperialism and analysis of the wars in Southeast Asia, which spurned the mass migration of over 1 million Vietnamese to America since the 1970s. Drawing from interdisciplinary scholarly research, literary works and visual media, this course equips students with a critical and transnational framework for engaging Vietnamese American experiences. We explore how Vietnamese Americans have been made subject to US racial formation before and after their arrival in the US. Most importantly, we seek to understand how they craft their own lives and meanings, their memories of the homeland, as well as their triumphs and struggles to build community. Toward this end, a major component of this course is an oral history project each student will complete with a Vietnamese American elder. Students are trained in oral history methodology and required to conduct and process (transcribe, translate, and index) one oral history interview to donate to the Vietnamese American Oral History Project, which is archived in the UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive.
The interviews in this collection have shared copyright between the interviewers, narrators, and the Vietnamese American Oral History Project, UC Irvine.