Global Vietnam War Literature and Culture: Representation, Postmemory, and the Changing Geopolitics of the Transpacific

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
53rd Comparative Literature Symposium Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
contact email: 

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Long T. Bui, Associate Professor of Global and International Studies, the University of California at Irvine 

Dr. Patricia Pelley, Associate Professor of History, Texas Tech University

Dr. Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Professor of English and Asian American Studies, the University of Texas at Austin


Special Guest Speaker

Ms. Callie Wright, Education Director, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund


In recent years, studies of Vietnam War literature and culture have witnessed new critical viability and innovation. The old mandate of representation that “you had to be there” has now been replaced by alternative accounts of the war as offered by American army nurses, Vietnamese veterans of both the North and the South, war refugees, and a new generation of Southeast Asian Americans. Not only have the alternative visions and perspectives on the war raised questions on war ethics, the memory industry, and the aesthetics of representation, but they have also promoted critical refugee studies and war ecology studies that have expanded and transformed a US-based Vietnam War literature and culture into the phenomenon of a global Vietnam War literature and culture.


This Symposium seeks to address some new moments in the formation and development of the global Vietnam War literature and culture. We look for papers that would address but not be limited by the following questions. How do we reread the GI accounts of the war in a global context? What constitutes a true American war story today? What is the ethics of war and aesthetics of representation? How do American army nurses tell different kinds of stories? What does Hollywood representation of the war, particularly Apocalypse Now, mean today? How do we understand the humanitarian and ecological consequences of the war? What are the lessons of the Vietnam War for the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq?


We also welcome presentations that would explore the following topics and themes. How do Southeast Asian refugee narratives perform and figure the postmemory of war violence? Why has South Korean Cinema on the Vietnam War flourished on the global market? Why has Khmer Rouge’s genocide in Cambodia captured global attention? What are the afterlives of the Vietnam War or the American War in Vietnam? Why does the United States continue to showcase its military power and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific after the Cold War ended in Europe in the early1990s? Would US promotion of democracy and human rights be crucial to the stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific?


Please send a 250-word (or less) ABSTRACT and a one-page CV or questions to Dr. Yuan Shu, Texas Tech University at:  The deadline is March 31, 2021.