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ARLT 101G | The American War in Viet Nam

Prof. Viet Nguyen

Departments of English and
American Studies & Ethnicity
Email: vnguyen@usc.edu
e!site: vietnguyen.info
"lass meets # & #$ %:&'()':*'+ in S,- ).&+ /ith additional discussion sections and film
screenings. 0ilm screenings and locations are in the sylla!us !elo/.
1ffice hours: # & #$ .(&:&'
1ffice location: #$$ 2'2D
#eaching assistants 3olie "hea+ 4isa 4ee+ and Emily 5aymundo /ill provide their o/n section
sylla!i /ith office hours and contact information.
Discussion Sections:
Emily 5aymundo+ #uesdays+ )):'' A- and #hursdays+ .:'' P-
3olie "hea+ ednesdays+ )):'' A- and ):''P-
4isa 4ee+ #uesdays+ .:'' P- and #hursdays+ )):'' A-
#he Viet Nam ar remains as the most controversial and divisive /ar for Americans in the .'

century. #he /ar is still invo6ed in de!ates over American /ars in 7ra8 and Afghanistan. #his
course provides an introduction to the /ar9s history in order for today9s Americans to understand
some of the 6ey factors leading the :S into its current geopolitical situation. Since the /ar
remains poorly understood and remem!ered+ the course !egins over a century ago in the 0rench
colonial era ;)<<=()%*2>+ spends the !ul6 of its time on the period of American involvement
;)%*2()%=*>+ and ends /ith post/ar legacies in Southeast Asia and the :nited States.
#he course is a multidisciplinary+ multicultural and international overvie/ of the /ar9s history
and its afterlife in American and Southeast Asian memory. Student reading /ill dra/ primarily
from films+ literature+ art+ ?ournalism+ historical /riting+ and political discourse+ /hile lectures
/ill provide necessary historical and political !ac6ground. #he course corrects some
fundamental fla/s in the American pedagogy and scholarship on the /ar+ !eginning /ith ho/
the name indicates that the /ar /as fought only in Viet Nam. #he /ar /as also fought in
"am!odia and 4aos+ and the course e@amines the /ar9s impact on those countries and their
peoples. Americans have also seen the /ar purely from the perspective of American self(interest
and ethnocentrism. 7n contrast+ this courses stresses the diversity of American e@periences+ the
importance of Southeast Asian points of vie/+ and the e@istence of international actors in the /ar
/ho /ere neither American nor Vietnamese.
The American War in Vietnam
Students /ill develop critical thin6ing s6ills through )> /riting papers and .> /or6ing in
colla!orative teams to contri!ute to the course9s pu!lic pro?ect+ an online memorial featuring oral
histories of the /ar9s /itnesses and testimonies to the dead. :sing a lo(tech approach to
multimedia+ A#he American ar in VietnamB actively involves students in engaging /ith
history+ sharing their /or6 /ith the general pu!lic+ and constructing a digital memorial. #he
papers /ill !e *(= page analytical essays addressing the te@ts of the course+ /here students /ill
!e re8uired to study these te@ts closely.
Cesides learning critical thin6ing s6ills and ac8uiring 6no/ledge a!out the /ar+ /hat students
/ill ta6e a/ay from the course is a set of multimedia s6ills and the a!ility to use them to share
their scholarship and ideas /ith the general pu!lic.
#he goals of the course for student learning are:
)> to provide a multidisciplinary overvie/ of the history of the /ar and its afterlife.
.> to address a diversity of ethnic+ cultural+ and national memories a!out the /ar.
&> to actively involve students in engaging /ith history via multimedia.
2> to have students share their /or6 /ith the general pu!lic via the course /e!site+
///.another/armemorial.com. 4ater classes /ill also contri!ute to this site+ /hich /ill !e of
scholarly and general use.
*> to prepare students to thin6 critically and analytically+ !oth in general and in relationship to
the Vietnam ar.
Discussion Sections )'D
:nannounced EuiFFes )'D
#hree Papers+ *(= pages .'D each+ G'D total
#eam -ultimedia Pro?ect .'D
7n order to receive a passing grade+ students must meet the minimum requirement of earning a
score for each of these four grading criteria. 5eceiving a Fero in any of these criteria indicates
that you have not done the /or6 for the course and /ill result in a D or 0 for the overall class
Attendance is mandatory: in lecture+ in discussion section and at film screenings. Discussion
sections have their o/n attendance and grading policyH see your section sylla!us. Iour teaching
assistant has authority over her discussion section and /ill assign the grade for that section. 0or
the class as a /hole+ attendance /ill !e accounted for through 8uiFFes ;see 8uiF policy !elo/>.
Participation in sections is !oth ver!al and /rittenH !esides classroom participation+ students are
also e@pected to post /ee6ly comments or responses that are thoughtful and substantive on
Clac6!oard+ an electronic resource for the class+ /hich can !e accessed at
https:JJ!lac6!oard.usc.eduJ. Clac6!oard comments are run through the discussion section+ !ut 7
/ill read them and dra/ on them for my lecture and /ill ma6e reference to them in lecture.
"ome prepared to lecture /ith /hat you have /ritten on your Clac6!oard comments. Classroom
and online participation is essential to the class, and will significantly impact your grade.
The American War in Vietnam
:nannounced 8uiFFes /ill cover the reading and film screenings. 7t is important that you 6eep up
/ith the reading+ as you /ill not !e a!le to participate /ithout having done so. #he 8uiFFes /ill
have a significant impact on your final grade. #hey may happen in every class meeting+ if
necessary. 7f you are late to class and miss a 8uiF+ or leave class early and miss a 8uiF+ you /ill
get a Fero for the 8uiF. Each zero for a quiz will result in the loss of 1 of your grade, up to the
ma!imum 1". At that point you can stop coming to class, as # will give you a failing grade for
not meeting the minimum requirements of the course. EuiFFes cannot !e made up.
#here /ill !e three research papers of *(= page research papers. #here /ill !e a later handout
/ith further information a!out topics. $trict late penalties of 1%& grade deduction per '( hours of
tardiness will apply+ e@cept in cases of documented illness and emergency.
:sing video cameras+ students /ill /or6 in teams of three or four to either profile someone /ho
died in the /ar or as a direct result of the /ar+ or intervie/ a /itness to the /ar. Students /ill
also provide conte@tual material for understanding the historical e@periences of the /itnesses or
the dead. #he class /ill produce a!out forty such oral histories or profiles of the dead per
semester. Students /ill post intervie/s or testimonies to a pu!lic course !log+ AAn 1ther
-emorialB ;http:JJ///.another/armemorial.com>. #he !log /ill !e the archive for an
e@panding !ody of such /or6+ /hich /ill !e of scholarly and general use. No prior technical
e@perience is re8uired. )his is a team effort, and all team members are e!pected to contribute.
*ailure to participate in a team will result in a zero for the pro+ect grade and a failing grade for
the course.
,lagiarism will be prosecuted to the fullest e!tent allowed, including failure in the class and
reporting to student conduct. 0urther information a!out plagiarism and standards of citing
others9 /or6 /ill !e availa!le in paper handouts. :S" policy on plagiarism and academic
integrity can !e found here: www.usc.edu%student-affairs%$.AC$%forms%tig.pdf
/isability ,olicy: Any student re8uesting academic accommodations !ased on a disa!ility is
re8uired to register /ith the Disa!ility Services Program ;DSP> each semester. A letter of
verification for approved accommodations can !e o!tained from DSP. Please !e sure the letter is
delivered to me as early in the semester as possi!le. DSP is located in S#: &') and is open <:&'
a.m.(*:'' p.m.+ -onday through 0riday. #he phone num!er for DSP is ;.)&> =2'('==G.
Electronic devices: Since 7 /ill not use my cellphone+ PDA+ iPod+ or any other handheld
electronic device in class+ and since 7 /ill not te@t+ 7-+ send email+ read email+ t/eet+ chec6 my
0ace!oo6 page+ etc.+ in class+ neither /ill you. Please do not ma6e me reprimand you in front of
your classmates for using these devices+ as 7 /ill. #he only multitas6ing you can do in class is to
use your laptop to ta6e notes or to chec6 information related to class online. $tudents who wish
to use their laptop must sit in the first five rows of the lecture hall.
#his sylla!us and updates to it+ a set of handouts for the multimedia pro?ect+ and assigned
readings are availa!le on https:JJ!lac6!oard.usc.eduJ.
Sylla!us is su!?ect to change at the professor9s discretion.
The American War in Vietnam
"hristian Appy+ ,atriots ;selections>
,raham ,reene+ )he 0uiet American
4e 4y $ayslip+ 1hen 2eaven and Earth Changed ,laces
Cao Ninh+ )he $orrow of 1ar
#im 19Crien+ )he )hings )hey Carried
Vaddey 5atner+ #n the $hadow of the 3anyan )ree
Kao Kalia Iang+ )he 4atehomecomer
Anticipate a!out )''().' pages of reading for #uesdays and *'(G' pages of reading for
#hursdays on the average
0rances 0ord "oppola+ Apocalypse 5ow ;outside of class>
"lint East/ood+ 6ran )orino ;outside of class>
Ellen Kuras and #havisou6 Phrasavath+ )he 3etrayal 75era8hoon9 ;outside of class>
Errol -orris+ )he *og of 1ar ;)'= mins>
Dang Nhat -inh+ 1hen the )enth :onth Comes ;%* mins>
Socheata Poeuv+ 5ew ;ear 3aby ;<' minutes>
$am #ran+ .ourney from the *all ;outside of class>
Additional film clips and essays /ill !e part of the re8uired te@tsH essays cited in the readings
!elo/ /ill !e availa!le on Clac6!oard.
Wee" 1
#ues )J)2 L7ntroduction to "ourse
#hurs )J)G L 0rance and 7ndochina Cefore the :nited States
5eadings: ,raham ,reene+ )he 0uiet American ;author9s dedication to page G)>
Wee" #
#ues )J.) L #he :nited States Arrives in Viet Nam
5eadings: ,raham ,reene+ )he 0uiet American ;G.())2>H -artin 4uther King 3r.+
ACeyond VietnamB ;)) pages>H Ed/ard Said+ A7ntroductionB ;pp. )(.<> from <rientalism
;in "ourse 5eader>
The American War in Vietnam
Audio of King9s speech: http:JJml6(
#hurs )J.& L 1rientalism+ or estern 0antasies of Asia
5eadings: )he 0uiet American ;))*()<%>
Wee" $
#ues )J.< L #he :nited States Stays in Viet Nam

5eadings: #im 19Crien+ )he )hings )hey Carried ;)(<2>
#hurs )J&' L 7n 5etrospect
7n class film screening: Errol -orris+ )he *og of 1ar ;part )>
5eading: #im 19Crien+ )he )hings )hey Carried ;<*()&'>
%i&m Screenin'( )atten! *ne *+ the(e t,*- man!at*r./
#hurs )J&' Apocalypse 5ow, *(< P-+ #$$ )'.
0ri )J&) Apocalypse 5ow, .(* P-+ #$$ )'.
Wee" 0
#ues .J2 L American 7nnocence or the $eart of Dar6ness
7n class film screening: Errol -orris+ )he *og of 1ar ;finish>
5eadings: #im 19Crien+ )he )hings )hey Carried ;)&)(.'=>
#hurs .JG L $olly/ood9s "inema(7ndustrial "omple@
5eadings: #im 19Crien+ )he )hings )hey Carried ;.'<(.&&>H #im 19Crien ;from
,atriots, *2.(*2*>
Inter1ie,ee( (h*2&! 3e (e&ecte!- TA( m2(t 3e n*ti+ie!
Wee" 4
#ues .J)) L American 4iterature of ar
5eadings: Cao Ninh+ )he $orrow of 1ar ;)()''>
The American War in Vietnam
#hurs .J)& L 5ace+ ,ender+ "lass and Se@uality in American "ulture and the ar
5eadings: Cao Ninh+ )he $orrow of 1ar ;)')()*G>
American conflicts over race: 3ulian Cond+ ,eneral Ca6er+ 3r.+ 3ames 4afferty+ Iusef
Komunya6aa+ Vincent 16amoto+ "harley #ru?illo ;from ,atriots+ )2&()2*+ )2G()2%+ )G2(
)GG+ .*=(.*<+ &*=(&G)+ &GG(&='>
%ri #510 Mi!term 6a7er 81 D2e )c*n(2&t TA +*r !etai&(/
Wee" 9
#ues .J)< L #he North Vietnamese ,o to ar
5eading: Cao Ninh+ )he $orrow of 1ar ;)*=(.&&>
#hurs .J.' L North Vietnamese -emories in 4iterature and 0ilm

7n class film screening: 1hen the )enth :onth Comes ;part 7>
5eading: 4e 4y $ayslip+ 1hen 2eaven and Earth Changed ,laces ;ac6no/ledgments+
prologue+ )(G.>
A77*intment( ,ith inter1ie,ee( (h*2&! 3e (et- TA( (h*2&! 3e n*ti+ie!
Wee" :
#ues .J.* L North Vietnamese -emories in 4iterature and 0ilm
7n class film screening: 1hen the )enth :onth Comes ;finish>
5eading: 4e 4y $ayslip+ 1hen 2eaven and Earth Changed ,laces ;G&()G2>
#hurs .J.= L Nothing is -ore Precious #han 7ndependence and 0reedom
5eading: 4e 4y $ayslip+ 1hen 2eaven and Earth Changed ,laces ;)G*(.)*>
0ri .J.< -idterm papers returned
Wee" ;
#ues &J2 L #he End of the American ar
The American War in Vietnam
5eading: 4e 4y $ayslip+ 1hen 2eaven and Earth Changed ,laces ;.)G(&)*>
American anti/ar movement: Anne -orrison elsh+ Vivian 5othstein+ #om Englehardt+
"lar6 Dougan+ Daniel Ells!erg ;from ,atriots+ )*'()**+ .=2(.=<+ .G<(.=&+ &'2(&'G+
Vie/s on the end of the /ar: Phan Nuan Sinh+ Vu $y #hieu+ #ran Ngoc "hau+ 0ran6
Snepp+ #ruong #ran ;from ,atriots+ .*(.=+ )%'()%2+ 2=*(2=%+ 2%G(*'&+ *'2(*'=>
#hurs &JG L #he South Vietnamese Perspective
5eading: 4e 4y $ayslip+ 1hen 2eaven and Earth Changed ,laces ;&)G(&G<>
South Vietnamese vie/s: 4uyen Nguyen+ #ruong -y $oa+ 1liver Stone+ Nguyen Ngoc
4uong ;from ,atriots+ %2(%<+ ..<(.&'+ .*.(.**+ &=2(&=G>
%i&m Screenin'( )atten! *ne *+ the(e t,*- man!at*r./
#hurs &JG .ourney from the *all *(< P-+ #$$ )'.
0riday &J= .ourney from the *all .(* P-+ #$$ )'.
Wee" <
#ues &J)) L #he End of the ar for the South
5eading: Vaddey 5atner+ #n the $hadow of the 3anyan )ree ;)()')>H #hai Dao ;from
,atriots+ *2'(*2)>H Ien 4e Espiritu+ A#o/ard a "ritical 5efugee Study: #he Vietnamese
5efugee Su!?ect in :S ScholarshipB ;.& pages>
#hurs &J)& L -ourning and -elancholia
5eading: Vaddey 5atner+ #n the $hadow of the 3anyan )ree ;)'.()G)>
S7rin' =rea" $51: > $5##
Wee" 10
#ues &J.* L #he ASidesho/B in "am!odia
5eading: -arilyn C. Ioung (( ACom!ing "ivilians from the .'
to .)
"enturies+B in
3ombing Civilians: a '"
century 2istory ;.' pages>= 3onathan Schell+ 3udith "ol!urn+
4oung :ng ;from ,atriots+ .'.(.'<+ 2'=(2).+ *.G(*.<>
5eading: Vaddey 5atner+ #n the $hadow of the 3anyan )ree ;)G.(.G%>
#hurs &J.= L Iear Oero: #he Khmer 5ouge
The American War in Vietnam
7n class screening: 5ew ;ear 3aby ;<' minutes>
5eading: Vaddey 5atner+ #n the $hadow of the 3anyan )ree ;.='(&..>
C*n(ent +*rm( +*r inter1ie, (23?ect( !2e t* 7r*+e((*r
%ri $5#; Mi!term 6a7er 8# D2e )c*n(2&t TA +*r !etai&(/
Wee" 11
#ues 2J) L #he Khmer 5ouge and ,enocide
5eading: Susan Sontag+ e@cerpt from >egarding the ,ain of <thers ;&()=> and e@cerpt
from )he #mage 1orld ;)*&()<'>H Coreth 4y+ A1f Performance and the Persistent
#emporality of #rauma: -emory+ Art+ and VisionsB ;.& pages>H David "handler+
e@cerpts from ?oices of $-'1: )error and 2istory in ,ol ,ot@s $ecret ,rison ;Preface+
Discovering S(.)+ S(.): A #otal 7nstitution+ E@plaining S(.)+ G' pages>
#hurs 2J& (( Post(,enocide 3ustice and 5econciliation in "am!odia
-ichael Paterniti+ ANever 0orgetB ;)& pages>H Cen Ehrenreich+ A"am!odia9s andering
DeadB ;% pages>H e@cerpts+ Peter -aguire+ *acing /eath in Cambodia ;)&.(.%G>
%i&m Screenin'( )man!at*r./
#hurs 2J& )he 3etrayal, *(= P-+ #$$ )'.
0riday 2J2 )he 3etrayal, .(2 P-+ #$$ )'.
Wee" 1#
#ues 2J< L #he ASecret arB in 4aos
5eading: Kao Kalia Iang+ )he 4atehomecomer ;)().<>
#hurs 2J)' L 4aotian Americans and 5efugees
5eading: DuCois+ #homas A.+ A"onstructions "onstrued: #he 5epresentation of
Southeast Asian 5efugees in Academic Discourse+B ;.< pages>H e@cerpt from Avery
,ordon+ 6hostly :atters #CAH Kao Kalia Iang+ #he 4atehomecomer ;)&)()*)>
0ri 2J)) -idterm papers returned
%ri 0511 %ina& 27&*a! *+ 7r*+i&e( t* the c*2r(e ,e3(ite
The American War in Vietnam
%i&m Screenin' )man!at*r./
#hursday 2J)' 6ran )orino+ *(= P-+ #$$ )'.
Wee" 1$
#ues 2J)* L #he $mong at ar
5eading: Kao Kalia Iang+ )he 4atehomecomer ;)*)(.=2>H 0red Cranfman ;from
,atriots+ .)=(..'>
#hurs 2J)= L #he $mong in the :nited States
5eading: 4ouisa Schein+ Va(-egn #ho?+ Cee Vang+ 4y "hong #hong 3alao+
ACeyond ,ran #orinoPs ,uns: $mong "ultural arriors Performing ,endersB ;&)
pages>H Q Q Q R Q + _e_o:ocooqoq._o_oqoeo
A Q 9 Q Q Q Q Q Q Q B ;*. _xoqexoqe :e::oq._qo_o__q:__oeqox:c_o:
pages>H revie/ Ed/ard Said reading from earlier in the semesterQ
Wee" 10
#ues 2J.. L 5evisiting the ar in the :nited States
5eading: -c-ahon+ 5o!ert+ A"ontested -emory: #he Vietnam ar and American
Society+ )%=*(.'')+B pp. )*%()<2H "athy Schlund(Vials "am!odian American -emory
or6: 3ustice and the A"am!odian SyndromeB ;.= pages>H Khatharya :m+ AE@iled
-emory: $istory+ 7dentity+ and 5emem!ering in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian
DiasporaB ;.) pages>H illiam estmoreland ;from ,atriots+ *&%>
#hurs 2J.2 L "ontemporary -emory: Presentation of 7ntervie/s
Each team has three minutes to do a !rief introduction given !y one representative+ and then to
sho/ a t/o(minute clip
Wee" 14

#ues 2J.% L "ontemporary -emory: Presentation of 7ntervie/s
#hurs *J) L "ontemporary -emory: Presentation of 7ntervie/s
0ri *J.S0inal paper due
-ay )& L <()' A- 0inal E@amSnot necessary
-ay )=S0inal grades due