Below are my summary notes of part 1 of my qualifying exams list with Professor Peter Zinoman on Pre/Early Modern Vietnamese history.
- Pre/Early Modern
- Indochina Wars
Historiographical chronology/ topical order
TEXTBOOK/STATE OF THE FIELD
- Taylor, Keith Weller “Surface Orientations in Vietnam: Beyond Histories of Nation and Region.” The Journal of Asian Studies 57, no. 4 (November 1, 1998): 949–78. + (shelf)
- Taylor challenges histories of oriented around nation and “Vietnameseness.” Taylor argues that histories are episodic rather than evolutionary, and function as surfaces upon material and cultural exchanges of which they are formed. He notes how South Vietnam, Nam Bộ has been seen as “less Vietnamese” due to contemporary definitions of Vietnameseness based on the North as the beacon of national origin and authenticity. Using the examples of six episodes of military conflict: the conquest of Lê Lợi (early 15th), Lê-Mạc ứa (16th), Trịnh-Nguyễn ứa (17th), Tây Sơn wars (18th), conquests of Nguyễn Ánh Gia Long (turn of 19th), Frenqu conquest (late 19th). Taylor calls scholars to orient histories towards a time and terrain and to be wary of connecting history with a linear assumption of change over time. In other words, Taylor encourages regional, temporally situated (of Trần Northern Coast, of Hội An and Quảng Nam as a fusion zone, of Nam Bo) studies rather than attempts to trace the entirety of the modern construct of the Vietnamese nation throughout history.