Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Week 10_Shannon Ngo_ASA150E

I really enjoyed this class-- not simply because of the professor but also the course material. I signed up to learn more about this country my parents originate from and in turn, learn more about them and myself. But through the readings, I realize there’s so much more to Viet Nam than I initially thought. More than just a backwards country, it has a rich culture, dating back far longer than the U.S.-- it’s more than the war. While America still clings to their failure, Viet Nam has moved past it; because it’s nothing more than a small fragment of their history. We continue to view Viet Nam in this lens, disregarding the other beautiful aspects of their culture. 

The way the professor framed the lessons held my interest. In most lectures, it’s nearly impossible to get through, but when she taught, it was easy to listen to. She engaged and interacted with the class in an enthusiastic manner that spoke of her passion for the subject. I enjoyed my time here, and I will sign up for more courses with Professor Valverde. 

Image Source: http://www.vietnam-guide.com/

Monday, March 9, 2020

Week 10_Melanie Manuel_ASA 150E

Melanie Manuel
ASA 150E 001
9 March 2020

This class has taught me several things: how to work collaboratively, what sorts of demographics the Viet Nam War really had, and where I can access resources for my remaining time at University of California, Davis. I also learned how to apply concepts such as culture cringe and colonial mentality to current instances in my life. This is to say, I am taking away a broader knowledge of how history is handled in the modern day and potentially how we should be handling it—not necessarily as wholly liberally or wholly conservative, but understanding both sides of the story and coming up with my own conclusion to these dominant narratives. 

I have had the honor of taking a couple of classes with Professor Valverde, and this class has both engaged and challenged me with its workload and plethora of information of a topic that is both talked about all too often (in the Western perspective) and far too little (in the “Other” side’s perspective). I think this notion of “turning history on its head” is something to continue with, and hopefully cultivate into a new wave of common thinking. I think also participating in these conversations, especially about experiences and the validity of one’s own stories, especially as a younger generation, has resonated with me beyond measure, and I will continue to hold on to it for a very long time. 

I included a screen cap of a website’s demographics of the Viet Nam War—something that is still perceived to be only white when, in fact, it was not. 

Works Cited
Images Used

Sunday, March 8, 2020


Week 10 - Viet Nam As Concept and New Viet Nam Studies
As my experience in ASA150E comes to a close, to reflect on my understanding that I have developed over the past ten weeks makes me realize that I am glad that I was able to have the opportunity to take this class. This class, in a way, was able to cover those holes within in my life that I would consider being missing - those unanswered questions, those puzzle pieces that did not seem to fit right - and while there are some that are still in the process that needs to be filled, I am glad to have a good set of knowledge and understanding to work from here on out. Throughout this course, I have developed my concept of the Viet Nam War.
I admire the way how this class is structured in a way, rather than going through the hxstories of each Southeast Asian country and discussing about such, the class in a way proposed me a challenge that I offered me the means to play around with - exploring different perspectives of the way, criticizing these different perspectives, how those involved whether people or actions affect those today in a contemporary sense, and so much more. Growing up, I had only grown with a few perspectives in mind: my parents and my extended family, the textbooks in history class, and being a participant to several Southeast Asian conferences. Though a good amount of information was given to me, it challenged the way I looked at my own hxstory when I was in this class - challenging the anti-communist view that surrounded me growing up in a Vietnamese-American community, challenging the way I spelled 'Vietnam', challenging to view aspects within my life that were affected by the effects of the war such as diaspora, and so much more.
When I look back at the Southeast Asian community, I can see there is a lot of potential and ways that the community could move forward and thrive, rather than being focused on a war-torn region - such as how can we uplift and embody these varieties of narratives in spaces such of education and more, how can we create change to the issues that us Southeast Asians face such as deportation and the lack of equity, how can we allow Southeast Asia to flourish through the insertion of resources offered at the university level like language classes and more. I am proud to be offered a class such as ASA150E, understanding that some students may not even have the opportunity to relearn their hxstory. I am proud that through our learning in ASA150E that we are not only able to learn for ourselves, but we are able to share that to the general public too, as we should, through our art exhibit: "Viet Nam War as Concept: A Journey of (Re)Discovery". I am so looking forward to that this Thursday!
Closing this blog, I would like to propose an open-ended question: what does it mean to be Southeast Asian and how could we broaden up our definition of what it means to be Southeast Asian to other countries and folx of the Southeast Asian region?

SAFE's Southeast Asian Youth Conference 2020 (mentors)

Week10-XInyu-Yang -ASA150E

Unconsciously, ten weeks are coming to an end. Attending this class has undoubtedly expanded my horizons. I know many stories that people deliberately hide and forget. These stories are not only confined to Southeast Asia, but they also reflect the pattern of the world behind them. Especially the secret war, the story behind the Lao Hmong.
The Spratly Islands controversy mentioned by the professor is the most interesting. A reasonable analysis of the current situation in the Spratly Islands, the layout of each country and the reasons behind it. powerful countries' urgent need resources that are in the Spratly Islands. This is undoubtedly an important part of today's international disputes. I like that this lesson is not limited to history, but to look at history and think about current issues. And throughout the whole quarter, it is worth noting that all war-related stories can reveal the shadows hidden by today's education system. I am very glad that I chose the ASA course, but for those who have not chosen the ASA course, will some parts of the real image be hidden all the time.
My last question is whether the research on the controversy in the Spratly Islands today have hope for solving it?

South China Sea claims map by Voice of America

Week10_Raylph Evangelista_ASA150E

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I decided to take this class last quarter. I only wanted to take it because it sounded interesting and I wanted to expand my knowledge on Southeast Asian cultures but what I got was much more. I feel like from this class, I learned to really delve deep and try to understand the experience of the lesser talked about narrative. I realized that the US hides so much shit and we never really get to know how outside countries feel. I feel as though my entire schooling career has been deprived from the truth. Without taking this course, I would have never thought anything more of the war in Viet Nam than a war that had happened. This class really changed my viewpoint on a lot of subjects and how I see the US' participation in wars in general.

Image result for southeast asia flags
I really enjoyed this class and I'm not going to lie, every single time it was time to go to this class I was optimistic because I knew that it wasn't going to be just a lecture. It was something I could look forward to because it was different, and it wasn't just me taking information. It was us being given information, discussing, and realizing the outside perspective. The best take aways that I got from this class was that there is always something deeper than what you're given, there is always information that can be unfolded if you look hard enough, and that there is always two sides to a story so don't be content with just one.

Overall good class, chill vibes. 

Question: Were the other Southeast Asian countries affected by the war in Viet Nam?



Over the past 10 weeks, I learned a good amount of hxstories that I wouldn’t have known prior to taking this class, due to the lack of transparency and coverage in popular discourses surrounding Vietnam. I feel as if I have a better understanding of the counter narratives that exist, again, that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the conversations I had with my peers to the left, right, and in front of me as we sort of broke down a lot of the discussion questions and got to know more about how each other thinks and operates. Most of the readings presented throughout the course were pretty dense and lengthy, but did serve a much larger purpose throughout the length of the course. 
    One of my biggest takeaways was reshaping the view from Vietnam as a war torn country to subjects of colonialism and imperialism. I would have personally never thought of that way, considering most of the narratives from popular discourses indicate that they were simply subjects of war, but viewing it from a colonial perspective allowed me to see that there were more opportunities of exploitation: whether it be through hiding war narratives or dismantling a way of life that once existed.

Week 10_Chloe Azurin_ASA 150E

Chloe Azurin
Professor Valverde
ASA 150 E

Although I've only been at a four-year university for two quarters, this has easily become one of the best classes I have ever taken. As an anthropology major and first-year transfer, I was excited about the idea of learning about the Southeast Asian American experience. However, when I got to the class I was made very aware that it wouldn't be an exercise in traveling back and forth between the homeland and the diaspora. Although it threw me for a loop, learning about the Vietnam War not only gave me a chance to more deeply understand the gratuitous, tiny paragraph about the American War but to understand history and permission in very new and liberating ways. The first week of class, Professor Valverde gave us permission to have our own histories. It was a permission I did not realize I needed until that moment. Not only did she break up the class into ancient, past, and current issues in Southeast Asia, but she also taught us the delicate balance of being selfish in speaking through generations before us and permission to stop living and paying for pains that are not our own.

In addition to having the lock on handed-down diasporic trauma, I genuinely appreciated the way that Professor Valverde instructed our class. The lack of tests or quizzes didn't stop me from doing my reading or wanting to know more about our topic, but just reduced the stress that nearly kills me in all my other classes. Not only does she demonstrate the possibility of Asian women reaching and carving out their own space in academia (and sharing amazing stories), but she also cares about the community of this school. I have never had the honor and sheer joy of having a professor who asked if we would prefer a more chill day. And I wish all other professors could take more notes from her book.

My last questions are: Is it too much to ask that Professor Valverde post OOTDS? And when is the ao dai exhibit going to happen?
Image result for ao dai museum