This course will begin by thoroughly examining the causes and effects of World War II especially as it relates to the Pacific theater. It will next consider the colonial regimes present in Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the Japanese military hegemony over China, including the Rape of Nanking, preceding and during the world war, and other regions of the Pacific Rim, especially Korea and Viet Nam. Following these two important antecedents the course will then explore the post-war partitioning of both Korea and Viet Nam as a direct consequence of the Cold War, leading to two major conflicts in the Pacific each heavily involving the US. Each of these struggles simultaneously represented an internal civil war and a wider global proxy struggle. Every effort will be made to coordinate the flow of this course with the itinerary of our voyage around the world, especially within the Pacific region. A concerted effort will be made to present a balanced approach to the study of these two conflicts involving the viewpoints not only of the major global combatants but also those on the ground who would be most affected by these wars.
Field ClassCountry: Việt Nam
Date: November 18, 2017
Our class will visit and analyze these two very important venues from which the Vietnamese resistance to the American military presence was carried out during the war (the Cu Chi Tunnels) and its memorialization has been handled since the end of the war (the War Remnants Museum). Our class will begin to see the war from the perspective of the Vietnamese themselves, and also begin to analyze how the “American War” has been interpreted and remembered in Vietnam.
1. To witness, first hand, an actual place where Vietnamese resistance occurred.
2. To place the “American War” in the larger context of the struggle for Vietnamese independence.
3. To understand how Vietnam interprets the war and its aftermath.