War dominates the history of Vietnam and its neighbours in the period 1941-1991. During this era the region was wracked by conflicts that reflected the multiple currents and tensions stemming from nationalism, the desire for self-determination, de-colonisation, schemes of national unification, imperialism, post-colonial nation building, regional power rivalries, global ideological tensions and the Cold War. From the war of decolonisation against the French to the US intervention from the early 1960s, Vietnam became one of the Cold War’s ‘hot wars’ and a symbol of the American desire to ‘contain’ communism. Yet the communist victory in 1975 did not mean the end of war in mainland Southeast Asia. The Vietnam War’s linked conflicts in Cambodia and Laos who had their own causes and consequences and the emergence of a unified Vietnam as a regional power meant it was soon embroiled in an invasion of Kampuchea and then border clashes with China. This course seeks to understanding the impact of the Vietnam wars by exploring issues around their relationship to the nature and character of war, decolonisation and imperialism, the geo-politics of Asia, the Cold War, US policies of containment, military strategy and the popular memory/interpretation of war in literature and film.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Describe the key features of the wars involving Vietnam from 1941-1991.
2. Identify the key developments and transitions in the conduct of war the during the French and American Wars in Vietnam.
3. Critique historical understanding on the conflicts in Vietnam through the use of a range of historical resources and interpretations.
4. Analyses the popular culture interpretations of the war in the United States and Australia.
5. Demonstrate a comprehension of the complexity of the different conflicts involving Vietnam between 1941-1991.
6. Employ written and oral communication skills to clearly and confidently articulate your ideas about war and warfare in Vietnam.
1. Tutorial participation (10 per cent) [learning outcomes 1-3]
2. Reading synthesis (20 per cent) [learning outcomes 1, 3, 5-6]
3. Book/film review (25 per cent) [learning outcomes 3, 4, 6]
4. A 2500 word research essay (45 percent) [learning outcomes 1-6]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
A weekly 2-hour lecture a weekly 1-hour tutorial. Students will be expected to to spend an average of 10 hours per week on the course, with three being made up of the contact hours and the remainder preparing for lectures and tutorials, and completing assessment.
Requisite and Incompatibility
G Kolko, Vietnam: Anatomy of War, Unwin, London, 1987
G. Kolko,Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace , Routledge, London, 1997
M. Young, The Vietnam Wars 1945-1990, HarperCollins, New York, 1991
P. G. Edwards, Australia and the Vietnam War NewSouth, Sydney, 2014
R L. Miller & D. Wainstock, Indochina and Vietnam: the thirty-five-year war, 1940-1975, Enigma Books, 2013
W.S.Turley, The second Indochina War : a concise political and military history, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009
M.P. Bradley & M Young, Making sense of the Vietnam wars: local, national, and transnational perspectives, Oxford University Press, 2008
M.A. Lawrence, The Vietnam War: a concise international history Oxford University Press, 2008
M. Shipway, The road to war : France and Vietnam, 1944-1947, Providence: Berghahn Books, 1996
S.P. Armstrong, The causes and implications of the Vietnamese invasion and occupation of Kampuchea, California State University, Long Beach, 1985
Vo Nguyen Giap, “Peoples War, People’s Army”, Hanoi, 1961
Bao Ninh “The Sorrow of War”, Secker & Warburg, London, 1991
Troung Nhu Tang “A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath”, Vintage, 1986
Lien-Hang T. Nguyen “Hanoi's War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam” , University of North Carolina Press, 2012
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|7210||26 Jul 2021||02 Aug 2021||14 Sep 2021||29 Oct 2021||In Person||N/A|