Geology students reviewing a topographical map. background

Course Catalog

The Vietnam and American War Through Archival Documents

This course introduces students to the multifaceted process of historical knowledge production in the archives through the case study of the conflicts that Americans call ‘the Vietnam War” and Vietnamese call “The American War.” We will interrogate the war from the multiple perspectives of diverse historical actors, including Vietnamese, French and American policymakers, soldiers and citizens, and attempt to situate our subject in a way that broadens our insights on peace and justice through a wide spectrum of the people who participated in and lived through these conflicts. We will also approach our subject with a close focus on how historical narratives are produced and transmitted. What can historical sources such as archives, political texts, fiction, film, images and memoirs tell us about history, and what do they leave out? And finally, we will focus on questions about historical methodologies during class meetings, in student-led group discussions and through the course’s primary source writing assignment and a multi-stage research paper. Spring semester, alternate years.

Grade Basis: Letter Grade
Credits: 4.0