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School of Applied Social Sciences

SASS Staff

Publication details for Dr Caitlin Nunn

Brook, S. & Nunn, C. (2010). Vietnamese return narratives in Australian public culture. Amerasia Journal 36(2): 17-32.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

In the period following the end of the Vietnam War (1975-), diasporic Vietnamese cultural producers have created diverse representations of Vietnam for both diasporic Vietnamese and western audiences outside of Vietnam. Often strongly nostalgic, these representations range from the California-based Paris by Night concerts that circulate in the diaspora by video to the many English-language memoirs that have become popular with a general readership.1 However, following the widespread economic and political reforms that accompanied the policy of doi moi2 in Vietnam from 1986, and especially since the "opening up" of Vietnam to western and diasporic Vietnamese tourism during the 1990s, a distinctly new mode of representation has emerged: the narrative of return. This narrative mode appears across a range of genres and media, from TV documentaries to popular memoirs, and routinely confronts western audiences with strikingly contemporary representations of the impact of globalization on Vietnam, often narrated from the ambivalent perspective of "the diasporic Vietnamese tourist."