Vietnamese Studies is currently at a crossroads in the United States. With a population of nearly 100 million people in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, approximately 2.3 million people of Vietnamese heritage in the United States with around 38,000 Vietnamese calling the New York Metro area home, and large communities in France, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, and South Korea, the study of Vietnam and global Vietnamese is rising in importance on the world stage. Today, Vietnam continues to act as a critical bridge between East and Southeast Asia, is a leading member of ASEAN, boasts one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, and remains one of only three communist governments in the region. Yet, there is a dearth of comprehensive scholarship on Vietnam and global Vietnamese in the United States, and the need for continued research and investigation will only increase. The Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University is uniquely positioned to provide that expertise, scholarship and education in Vietnamese Studies for the 21st Century.
To that end, Columbia University has been awarded a 48-month grant of $600,000 by the Luce Foundation for "Digitizing Vietnam: The Virtual Future of Global Vietnam and Vietnamese Studies."
Columbia and Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) propose to build a new infrastructure for Vietnamese Studies centered on an integrated hub for digital humanities (DH) research. The project will make available a large archive of digitized pre-modern manuscript collections and provide a comprehensive catalog for archival and library collections of the modern era located in Vietnam. It will develop DH tools for scholarly and public use. The grant will support a “Digital Curator of Vietnam” at Columbia and a “Digital Humanities Librarian” at FUV. The former will work closely with Columbia Libraries and oversee all aspects of the digital hub, including construction, collection, curation, and management, while the latter will operate between FUV Libraries and FUV’s Vietnam Studies Center, as well as liaise with institutions in Vietnam.
The full announcement is available here.