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Vietnam Views - Gender and Modernization in Vietnam: A Case Study of (In)Equality through Collective Housing

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tomorrow: Christina Schwenkel, University of California at Riverside

28.04.2021
Christina Schwenkel, University of California at Riverside
Gender and Modernization in Vietnam: A Case Study of (In)Equality through Collective Housing

Urban destruction in northern Vietnam offered new opportunities for experimental planning to rebuild more egalitarian cities as part of modernization efforts. This talk considers the models of urban planning that were applied to undo the history of colonial dispossession and imperial devastation. Anticolonial solidarities with allied socialist countries, especially with East Germany, offered persuasive visions of socialist prosperity and urban futurity. Yet these models often proved unattainable or incompatible with local dwelling practices. Through the example of women in collective housing, I show how new forms of inequality and power asymmetries emerged that undermined goals of egalitarianism to produce a new class of feminized urban poor. Dr. Christina Schwenkel is professor of cultural anthropology at the University of California at Riverside and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies. Over the past two decades, she has conducted ethnographic research in Vietnam on postcolonial debates over Vietnamese architecture, the materiality of postwar memory, and monumental built forms. She is the author of The American War in Contemporary Vietnam: Transnational Remembrance and Representation (Indiana University Press, 2009), and, most recently, Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam (Duke University Press, 2020). She was a recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in 2015.

Zoom Link: https://uni-bonn.zoom.us/j/95601229785?pwd=NThRT1o4ekpCUmlTNmdmQ2xsVWszQT09

VIETNAM VIEWS – an online lecture series

In view of Vietnam's increasing relevance, not only in the region of Southeast Asia, it makes sense to deal with the country's state of affairs in the fields of politics, societal and economic developments. However, Vietnam's special standing – consistently socialist-ruled, economically emerging – also reveals many contrasts behind the apparent efficiency. This year also saw the 13th Party Congress of the CPV, which will have a decisive impact on the country's development in the coming years. In addition to the international significance attributed to the country, the insights into current developments certainly allow us to make statements about possible consequences for the people.

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