Brown Bag Lecture
Featuring: Martina Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian History, Weissman School of Arts & Sciences, Baruch College
Moderated by: John Phan, Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University.
Professor Nguyen is an historian specializing in the social, intellectual, and political reformist movements that swept Vietnam during the end of the French colonial period, and especially over the 1920s-1930s. Professor Nguyen examines one group in particular, which not only exerted an enormous, lasting influence on language and literary expression in modern Vietnam, but also effected substantial political change in the volatile anticolonial climate of the 1930s and 1940s. This group, known as the Self-Strengthening Literary Movement (Viet. Tự lực văn đoàn) was responsible for widespread social reform movements, the promotion of the Romanized alphabet (still in use today), growth of a modern Vietnamese tradition of short fiction, and an anticolonial sentiment based on French revolutionary ideals. The movement was also stylized after contemporary Chinese intellectual reformist movements, and was in direct contact with likeminded reformist and revolutionary movements across East Asia.