Scholars Share Insights on the Meaning of Being Vietnamese in California


CSUF faculty members shared their understanding about the role California plays in Vietnam and vice-versa during a panel discussion hosted by Boom California. The event explored the relationship between Vietnamese communities in California and how these communities have shaped California’s history.

Phuoc Duong, lecturer in Asian American studies, has written that “California plays a focal dreamland in the imagination of young adults in Vietnam when it comes to the good life.”

Sarah Grant, assistant professor of anthropology, told a story about a woman who emigrated from Vietnam expecting to live in California, but when she ended up living in rural Louisiana, her dreams were shattered. “To her, California was Vietnam,” Grant said. “It was like going home to Saigon for her.”

History professor Allison Varzally, author of “Children of Reunion: Vietnamese Adoptions and the Politics of Family Migration,” noted that the idea of California becomes its own historial force.

Continue reading in the Orange County Register.

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