A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the American War in Vietnam that have preceded it, this novel offers an important and unfamiliar new perspective on the war: that of a conflicted communist sympathizer.
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s astonishing novel takes us inside the mind of this double agent, a man whose lofty ideals necessitate his betrayal of the people closest to him. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the American War in Vietnam in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
—from the publisher
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative, and the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and the co-editor of Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field (University of Hawaii Press, 2014). His next book is Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, forthcoming from Harvard University Press in 2016. He is Associate Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
Published on May 23, 2016 by ASASTAFF.
ASA 2016 Community Partnership Grants
The American Studies Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 ASA Community Partnership Grants to support collaborative interdisciplinary community projects utilizing American Studies pedagogy, curriculum, research, and other resources.
1. University of Pittsburgh: Art, Social Change, and Neighborhood Identities: Hemispheric Conversations. (Amount $3,000)
This project will bring artists from Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Leon Guanajuato, Mexico into conversation with Pittsburgh residents and each other. By developing workshops on the history of aerosol art, planning public murals, and holding a pot luck party, and one-day symposium, this project allows for artists and residents to connect shared challenges in post-industrial urban spaces, and to explore public art making as a means of democratically shaping the urban environment. Its goals are educational, professional, oriented towards social change, and future collaboration.
2. University of New Mexico: Promoting Service Learning in American Studies. (Amount $3,000)
This joint project of the Department of American Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will establish a number of paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students in American Studies. Under supervision by the NHCC curatorial staff, interns will conduct primary research, oral interviews, and studio visits. They will help select artworks to be exhibited, write object and text labels, and develop exhibit-related programming.
ASA 2016 Regional Chapter Grants
The American Studies Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Regional Chapter Grants to develop programming, in the form of conferences or other projects, that engages both American Studies practitioners and others interested in the field within a specific region in an original and creative manner.
1. Hawai’i American Studies Association: Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawai’i Workshops and Creative Project. (Amount $3,000)
The project will host two full-day writing workshops for contributors who include academics, activists, artists, and practitioners. It will then host a public forum following the second workshop session. The editors of Detours are committed to allowing the project to unfold as contributors bring their expertise and ideas to it. The book and related materials will address specifically the ways in which communities of practice are working against the harmful effects of the tourism industry, while simultaneously turning the infrastructure of tourism and the genre of tourism writing on its head.
2. New England American Studies Association: NEASA Professional Development Colloquium, Annual Conference, and Liaison Program (NLP). (Amount $3,000)
The goal of the program is to increase participation in American Studies events and to create a mechanism that will allow NEASA to better represent its broad membership. The colloquium, to be held in fall 2016, will again focus on professionalization concerns for graduate students, faculty, and alternative academics. The next NEASA conference will be held in spring 2017. To support these efforts, NEASA will use the ASA funds to help supplement the costs of its upcoming annual programs and NLP, which seek to contribute to the local scholarly communities both inside and beyond the academy.
3. New York Metro American Studies Association: Everything You Wanted to Know About Academic Professionalization—But Were Too Busy Updating Your CV to Ask. (Amount $3,000)
The colloquium will address careers outside academia for PhDs in American Studies and related fields, as well as offer workshops on skills and competencies central to academic professionalization. It will invite editors of major journals in American Studies as well as the editorial staff of university presses to speak about the environment for scholarly publishing today. The colloquium will include a session on grant-writing. It will also bring in speakers on careers outside of academia, as well as offering short “how-to” sessions on nuts-and-bolts skills like compiling a cv, writing fellowship applications, and composing conference proposals.
4. Southern American Studies Association: Migrations and Circulations (2017 Biennial Conference of the Southern American Studies Association). ($3,000)
The grant will fund two initiatives that align with the mission of the conference and of the SASA. First, support for transportation and subsidized registration will enhance opportunities for educators and students to attend “Migrations and Circulations” and deepen the diversity of perspectives on conference themes. Additionally, funding for a plenary and discussion that engages all attendees in sustained exploration of interdisciplinary work by a prominent scholar will generate conversations about the past and future of our discipline. The conference expects 150-200 attendees, including from states outside the region and throughout the world.
Published on May 23, 2016 by ASASTAFF.
Thanks to everyone who returned ballots in our recent voting, via the Early American Matters Caucus’s listserve! Among the 16 early-American-flavored panels already on the program at this November’s A.S.A. conference in Denver, our Caucus is sponsoring these two—
“The Anatomy of Home: Early American Bodies,” with papers by Melissa Adams-Campbell, Carla Cevasco, Rebecca Rosen and Amanda Stuckey; Cristobal will chair and serve as commentator.
“Colloquy with Elizabeth Maddock Dillon on _New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 1648-1849_,” with Cory Capers, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Duncan Faherty, Bob Fanuzzi, Dan Hutchins, Peter Reed and Shirley Samuels as panelists and with Dennis Moore as moderator—and with members of the audience as Respondents.
—and it turns out there’s more: in addition to accepting those 16 panel proposals, each of which included “early American,” “eighteenth century” or “nineteenth century” as a keyword, the program committee also constructed 13 other early-American-flavored sessions from individual paper proposals that had at least one of those keywords.
WATCH FOR FURTHER WORD about the reception we’re again co-hosting with the Environment and Culture Caucus, again with generous support from the American Antiquarian Society. Last year’s reception, at Toronto, coincided with the southern-regional chapter’s mixer, and we’re planning mixer and reception together again, this time around!
—Dennis Moore, co-choreographer (with Sari Altschuler) of the Early American Matters Caucus
The first annual Archive of Modern American Warfare Symposium will take place at Texas Tech University’s International Cultural Center on Thursday September 15, 2016. The theme of this year’s symposium is ISIS and the Global War on Terrorism.
Here’s text that SASA’s president, Krystyn Moon, has posted at our Fb page, “SASA: Southern American Studies Association”:
MIT Press is offering caucus members a 30% discount on books.
The EAS Forum for 2016-2017 is now live at http://www.theasa.net/project_eas_online/page/project_eas_online_eas_EAS_Forum/. The theme for this edition is EXHIBITING AMERICAN STUDIES. It concerns the display of things and images as American Studies work and interpretation. Read perspectives on interpretations by American Studies scholars of house museums, African-American photograph collections, and Disney theme parks. EAS Forum is an annual online publication that complements the Encyclopedia of American Studies online with essays on themes and approaches related to the mission of the encyclopedia.
We are incredibly excited to announce the first annual Garfinkel Prize in Digital Humanities. Please submit your projects and forward this call widely.