Organized Panel Session
Vietnam studies, like Vietnam itself, is familiar with diversity and regionalism but has yet to reconcile them fully with an outward image of unity. Arguing against nationalist simplifications, scholars often highlight the country’s cultural, environmental, and ethnic diversity. Likewise, their regional approaches have amply demonstrated the distinct but entangled trajectories of its north, center, and south, particularly during the early modern and colonial eras. Yet sustained analyses of such social and geographic difference are curiously rare in studies of Vietnam’s revolution and the subsequent Indochina wars. Compounding this problem, Vietnam studies tends to view this crucial period from the perspective of central leaders, whether French, American, or Vietnamese. In contrast, Indonesian studies has benefited from critical inquiries that unpack its “national” revolution to examine how it unfolded variously across space and society, whether in Sumatra, Java, Sumba, or elsewhere.