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Author Beevi, Mariam
Title Surfin' Vietnam: Trauma, historical memory, and cultural politics in 20th century literature and film
book jacket
Descript 337 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-04, Section: A, page: 1326
Adviser: Gabriele M. Schwab
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Irvine, 2006
This dissertation attempts to map a more complete picture of trauma theories and traumatic recovery by shifting them from traditionally psychoanalytic frameworks to a more historicized cultural and political economic examination of trauma in concretized experiences and moments of intellectual and cultural production. Because trauma discourse moves too seamlessly from studies of the Holocaust and Hiroshima to the current AIDS crisis and the aftermath of 9/11, I focus on the residual traumatic recovery work around what is known in the global cultural imaginary as "Vietnam"---both the nation-state and the figure---as it signifies war, communist threat, the third world, poverty and victimization, or as "the Vietnam imaginary" embedded in our cultural subconscious. Through the perpetuation of silences, misinterpretations, repressions, and traumatic aftershocks in later political historical events, we find a continuous re-opening of this world historical wound
I analyze and compare the literary, filmic and academic production of Vietnamese and diasporic Vietnamese culture from three national contexts---Vietnam, France and the U.S.---to reveal the diverse and difficult labors of such social psychological and cultural recovery within and across very different geopolitical and historical specificities. I attempt to theorize the recovery work as constant contestation against the traumatic effects of dominant historiography, cultural memory, post-nationalism and academic disciplinarity, especially as all these influential factors continue to exert themselves on the same territorial planes. Instances of post-socialist reconstruction and diasporic cultural re-imagination by both the mainstreams and the multiply displaced diasporic Vietnamese resituate amnesiatic neo-liberal global capitalist tendencies within the trenches of older embattled historical landscapes and cultural mindscapes
Militarism and war, diaspora and globalization, community and political activism, as well as intellectual disciplining and cultural tourism, then, find themselves implicated as mechanisms of traumatic repression. At the same time, Vietnamese and diasporic Vietnamese engage not as pathetically minoritized refugees and immigrants, but as active cultural citizens and knowledge producers. Their strategies, while sometimes complicit and otherwise complicated by mainstream, traditional, and historical obstacles---media, historiography, colonial memory, neo-imperial education and nationalism---offer a glimpse of alternative practices for overcoming the trauma of the Vietnam imaginary
School code: 0030
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-04A
Subject Literature, Comparative
Literature, Asian
Literature, Romance
Literature, American
Alt Author University of California, Irvine
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