Stories of Refugeeness: 50 years of Vietnamese Diasporic, Global, and Coastal Connections

Tulane Asian Studies Program

Due April 15, 2024

The Tulane Asian Studies Program is hosting an interdisciplinary symposium February 6-8, 2025 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Vietnamese community in New Orleans dates its origins to the summer of 1975 when Archbishop Philip Hannan agreed for the Catholic Church to settle approximately 200 Vietnamese families in New Orleans. This decision created a core Vietnamese community, which in turn, motivated secondary migrations from elsewhere in the States and eventually the largest Asian American population within New Orleans.

Our symposium will take this local history as a starting point and ask questions with a global reach. While New Orleans and Vietnam are divided by thousands of miles, both regions have been defined by their relationships to water, river cultures, and port cities. The experiences of people within the New Orleans Vietnamese community speak to debates about what it means to be a “refugee,” the ongoing struggles over environmental justice, the complex dynamics of race in the US South, and connections that span from the Pacific to the Gulf South.

We are seeking papers that take the Vietnamese community in the Gulf South as its starting point and explore:

  • Grassroots and Diasporic Activism
  • Critical Refugee Studies
  • Navigating Coastal and Oceanic Experiences
  • Cultures and Communities along Waterways
  • Environmental Justice
  • Work, Labor, and Port Cities
  • “Southern” political identities in Vietnam and the United States
  • Transnational Spiritual Connections
  • Racial Solidarities and Diverse Identities
  • Memory and Generation
  • Gender, Sexuality and Diasporic experiences

We are interested in proposals by advanced graduate students, independent scholars, contingent faculty, junior faculty, and senior scholars. Please indicate in your proposal if you have any access to institutional support. We will issue invitations to selected scholars by the end of May.

We anticipate the collected essays will set the stage for an edited volume or Special Issue.

Please submit an abstract (maximum 500 words) and a CV to [email protected] by April 15, 2024. Organizers Jana Lipman (History) and Allison Truitt (Anthropology).