Through Vietnam’s recent economic and political transitions, conflicts over values and ideas of nature are giving shape to many new and different struggles: over land and landscapes; access and rights to natural resources; environmental justice and health; climate change impacts and resilience; and sustainability, among other issues. Indeed, in recent years, the stakes for articulating environmentalist positions in Vietnamese society have never been higher, as recently bloggers have been sentenced to years-long prison sentences for alleged threats of undermining the (developmentalist) state.
This panel, made up of seven scholars from different disciplines studying a diverse set of environmentally-related questions, aims to stimulate a public discussion on what values around the environment and nature are articulated in different settings in Vietnam by engaging an innovative format of 5-minute lightning presentations, 2-minute prepared respondent comments, and a 40-minute audience q&a. Each of the participating scholars will be asked to address three primary questions:
1. What is a core concept or value of nature in Vietnam?
2. How is this illustrated in a concrete example?
3. How is this idea, concept, or value manifested more broadly in Vietnamese society?
The panelists work in different contexts and geographies, from watery deltas to highland mountains, from urban lanes to rural villages, and they come from varied disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. The aim of this panel is to employ a “lightning” format to produce a carousel of different perspectives on a common set of questions. Each presenter will be strictly limited to time and asked to pre-circulate a script in advance with co-presenters. Creative responses are welcome, and participants will not use powerpoint presentations. Instead each participant will be allowed a single slide to be projected during the 5-minute presentation illustrating a concept or object reflecting a core concept or value. Each presentation will be followed by the 2-minute response from a pre-selected panelist who has read the work in advance. The audience will be invited to join the discussion for the remaining 40’ of q&a.