a need to develop Environmental history of Vietnam?

“Tho Quang Port in the central Da Nang City. Photo credit: Nguyen Minh Duc

From the bowl of Ðiện Biên Phủ, to the jungle ecocide during the American war, and not to mention the more recent issues of climate change and record atmospheric pollutions, environmental issues have been a dramatic major player in Vietnam’s recent history. Despite the urgency of present day discussions on the environment, it would be a grossly myopic to overlook the role the environment has played in Vietnam’s more ancient history. Yet, till today, environmental history has not been developed as an academic field in Vietnam. There is neither research teams of environmental history in the department of history in the National University of Social Sciences and Humanities, nor a group of research of environmental history in the Vietnam academy of social sciences (VASS). The present seminar is to build blocks of such an environmental history of Vietnam and contribute to the emergence of the field in the same way. It will take the form of a seminar assembling existing reflections on different related themes, each of them enriching this multiform historical object.