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After Saigon's Fall: A Book Discussion with Amanda Demmer

Speaker

Amanda Demmer

Professor Simon Miles will talk with Professor Amanda Demmer about her new book After Saigon's Fall: Refugees and US-Vietnamese Relations, 1975-2000. "Few historians of the Vietnam War have covered the post-1975 era or engaged comprehensively with refugee politics, humanitarianism, and human rights as defining issues of the period. After Saigon's Fall is the first major work to uncover this history. Amanda C. Demmer offers a new account of the post-War normalization of US-Vietnam relations by centering three major transformations of the late twentieth century: the reassertion of the US Congress in American foreign policy; the Indochinese diaspora and changing domestic and international refugee norms; and the intertwining of humanitarianism and the human rights movement. By tracing these domestic, regional, and global phenomena, After Saigon's Fall captures the contingencies and contradictions inherent in US-Vietnamese normalization. Using previously untapped archives to recover a riveting narrative with both policymakers and nonstate advocates at its center, Demmer's book also reveals much about US politics and society in the last quarter of the twentieth century." Amanda C. Demmer is an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech. Her research and teaching interests center on the boundaries between war and peace in American history. Her first book, After Saigon's Fall: Refugees and US-Vietnamese Relations, 1975-2000, (Cambridge University Press, 2021), offers a new account of the postwar normalization of US-Vietnamese relations. The book argues that to understand the full scope of the normalization process one must center three major transformations of the late twentieth century: the reassertion of the US Congress in American foreign relations; the Indochinese diaspora and changing domestic and international refugee norms; and the intertwining of humanitarianism and the human rights movement. Her next project will examine the nebulousness of war and peace during the Cold War and beyond through an exploration of U.S. "normalization" policies.

Categories

Asia focus, United States Focus, & Lecture/Talk