Vietnam is one of the most dynamic countries in the Asia Pacific region. Its rapid and sustained economic growth is matched only by the effervescence of its contemporary social and cultural landscapes. These unexpectedly positive developments are occurring in a land of great antiquity, with a long and conflicted history. A country once embroiled in war and revolutionary upheavals is reaping the benefits of a lengthy peace to re-engage the world, transform its institutions, redefine its identity, and rediscover its past. This course provides an introduction to Vietnam's history and contemporary society, through the lens provided by the disciplines of archaeology, history, anthropology, economics and politics. By reviewing key debates in scholarship on Vietnam, students will learn to think critically and contextually about one of the important countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Themes to be addressed include: Vietnam in regional context; relations with China; colonialism, revolution and the wars; socio-economic reform; politics and international relations; globalisation and cultural identity; and ethnic and religious complexity.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Students who complete this course will be able to:
1. Demonstrate that they can distinguish the main periods in the history of Vietnam dating from prehistoric times
2. Describe essential features of Vietnam's contemporary economy, politics, society and culture
3. Situate historical events and contemporary trends in local, regional and global context
4. Critically analyse major tropes and assumptions that have framed the study of Vietnam
5. Provide an account of key scholarly debates about Vietnamese history and society
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the contributions made by different disciplines to the study of Vietnam
7. Coomunicate their findings in a well-supported and convincing essay or presentation
Two essay assignments: Essay 1 (1,500 words): 20 per cent, Essay 2 (3,000 words): 40 per cent. Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Tutorial presentation: 15 per cent. Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Tutorial participation: 10 per cent. Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
(5 x 100 word) tutorial reports: 15 per cent. Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
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Three hours per week of lectures and tutorial. An additional seven hours study time.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Bill Hayton. 2010. Vietnam: Rising Dragon. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Hy Van Luong. 2003. Postwar Vietnam: Dynamics of a Transforming Society. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Neil Jamieson. 1993. Understanding Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Jamieson, Neil, Understanding Vietnam, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995;
Kolko, Gabriel, Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace, London: Routledge, 1997;
Taylor, Philip, Fragments of the Present: Searching for Modernity in Vietnam's South, Allen & Unwin, 2001.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
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