1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of the Vietnamese Diaspora

Edited By Nathalie Huỳnh Châu Nguyễn Copyright 2024

    The Routledge Handbook of the Vietnamese Diaspora presents a comprehensive overview and analysis of Vietnamese migrations and diasporas, including the post-1975 diaspora, one of the most significant and highly visible diasporas of the late twentieth century.

    This handbook delves into the processes of Vietnamese migration and highlights the variety of Vietnamese diasporic journeys, trajectories and communities as well as the richness and depth of Vietnamese diasporic literary and cultural production. The contributions across the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, literary studies, film studies and cultural studies point to the diversity of approaches relating to scholarship on Vietnamese diasporas.The handbook is structured in five parts:

    1. Colonial legacies
    2. Refugees, histories and communities
    3. Migrant workers, international students and mobilities
    4. Literary and cultural production
    5. Diasporas and negotiations

    Offering multiple cutting-edge interpretations, representations and reconstructions of diaspora and the diasporic experience, this first reference work of the Vietnamese diaspora will be an invaluable tool for students and researchers in the fields of Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Refugee Studies, Transnational Studies and Migration and Diaspora Studies.

    List of table x

    List of contributors xi

    Acknowledgements xvi

    1 Vietnamese diasporas: An introduction 1

    Nathalie Huỳnh Châu Nguyễn

    PART I

    Colonial legacies 27

    2 Documentary film memorialisation of Vietnamese indentured labour in France and New Caledonia: Sighting history 29

    Alexandra Kurmann and Tess Do

    3 The post–World War II repatriation of immigrant Vietnamese workers: For the metropole or for the homeland? 46

    Chizuru Namba


    Refugees, histories and communities 67

    4 The archipelago of camps: Between Vietnam and the diaspora 69

    Jana K. Lipman

    5 The Vietnamese diaspora in Germany: Refugees, contract workers and migrants 85

    Frank Bösch

    6 The Vietnamese diaspora in Japan: Refugees and internationalisation 104

    Ikuo Kawakami

    7 A brief history of the Vietnamese diaspora in the UK: Migration, resettlement and social characteristics 123

    Tamsin Barber

    8 Refugee histories and the COVID-19 pandemic: Second-generation Vietnamese Australians in the health professions 140

    Nathalie Huỳnh Châu Nguyễn


    Migrant workers, international students and mobilities 161

    9 Vietnamese migrants in the Czech Republic: Busy entrepreneurs and their children 163

    Adéla Souralová

    10 Food practices, transnational identity and belonging of Vietnamese migrants in Moscow: Nostalgic consumption 183

    Jessica Steinman

    11 Navigating a postcolonial, capitalist and neoliberal world: A comparison of Vietnamese international students’ and migrant workers’ mobilities 201

    Anne-Cécile Delaisse and Tamsin Barber


    Literary and cultural production 217

    12 Linda Lê: Migrant Writer M/other 219

    Leslie Barnes

    13 The transdiasporic turn towards multiplicity in contemporary Francophone and American Việt Kiều literature 238

    Alexandra Kurmann

    14 Memory Moments in Vietnamese American cultural productions 253

    Ivan V. Small

    15 Ghostly brothers and spectral relations in Vietnamese diasporic literature 270

    Catherine H. Nguyen

    16 Diasporic Vietnamese metafiction of the 1.5 and second generations 292

    H. J. Tam

    17 Refugee memories in Vietnamese diasporic films 307

    Lan Duong

    18 Reading for food in diasporic Vietnamese narrative cookbooks 323

    Elizabeth M. Collins

    PART V

    Diasporas and negotiations 341

    19 The diasporic intellectual self-concept: The case of Vietnamese intellectuals in North America 343

    Anna Vu

    20 Creating space for negotiations of experiences and knowledge for a more inclusive research practice in diaspora studies: The ‘in-between’ 361

    Diệu Linh Đào and Julia Behrens

    Index 379


    Nathalie Huỳnh Châu Nguyễn is Professor of History at Monash University, Australia, and Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA). Her research focuses on the Vietnamese diaspora and the experiences of refugees. A Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Oxford and former Australian Research Council Future Fellow, she is the author of four books including Vietnamese Voices: Gender and Cultural Identity in the Vietnamese Francophone Novel (2003), Voyage of Hope: Vietnamese Australian Women’s Narratives (2005) which was shortlisted for the 2007 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, 2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Memory Is Another Country: Women of the Vietnamese Diaspora (2009) and South Vietnamese Soldiers: Memories of the Vietnam War and After (2016).

    ‘Nathalie Nguyen assembled an outstanding group of 20 international scholars for this impressive collection of essays on different aspects of Vietnamese diasporic experiences around the world. The essays show not only the complexities of Vietnamese diasporas but also how different these complexities are. They reveal a range of connections to Vietnam and to the countries where diasporic Vietnamese have settled. The images of losses, findings, adjustments and developments in the book challenge thought about a single Vietnamese diaspora.’

    Professor Olga Dror, Texas A&M University

    ‘Essential reading for students of the Vietnamese diaspora, this volume reflects the multi-sided aspect of the subject, offering approaches that span history, anthropology, sociology as well as literary and cultural studies to form an account that is simultaneously wide-ranging and precise. It is also, perhaps more surprisingly, often movingly informed by personal emotion. Nathalie Nguyen’s editorial feat offers a model for a nuanced understanding of the complexities of diaspora, at times reading like a test case for wider issues such as compassion fatigue, forced repatriations, multi-generational memory and memorialisation.’

    Professor Jennifer Yee, University of Oxford