A thematic talk “Problems of Representations of the Vietnam War in American and Australian Literature - Implications for Dark Tourism Research"

Thursday - 19/10/2017 11:30

In the afternoon 30.03.2017 at Faculty of Tourism Studies – University of Social Science and Humanity, a thematic talk “Problems of Representations of the Vietnam War in American and Australian Literature - Implications for Dark Tourism Research" was held and speaker: Bui Thanh Huong from College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University presented.

All of the feelings when i was a English Tourist Guide with many guide trips for American veterans visited the old battle filed seemed to come back to me. I’ve like to quote the lyric from three of the most ten popular songs on the world about protesting against the American meaningless war in Vietnam mentioned as: I Ain’t Marching Anymore by Phil Ochs (1968). This song has received great sympathy and anger over the unjustified war in Vietnam. It’s the same with I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-To-Die of Joe McDonald (1967) - Another song about the Vietnamese War has resonated at the Woodstock Music Festival. The most impressed with me is still “War, what is it good for? - Absolutely nothing!" with the meaning “Did the war bring anything good?” – “Absoulutely nothing!”. In the song “War” of Edwin Starr, the chorus:

“War is something that I despise

Because it means destruction of innocent lives

War means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes

When their sons go out to fight and lose their lives”

Seems like forever in my heart.

And we, most likely, will agree with that. War brings misery and destruction, brings the worst to human life. The presentation of speaker Bui Thanh Huong remains a quote “All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory” (extracted in Nothing Ever Dies, Vietnam and the Memory of War, 2016 of Nguyen Viet Thanh).

During the long time war in Vietnam, under the midst of torrential rain storms, many books, songs, and poems have appeared with many meanings from the spirit of battle for the soldiers on the battlefield to reflect the reality of the war in many different angles. They are precious lessons that remind us that life is not hopeless in any difficult situation as we often think.

Nearly half a century has passed since the reunification of Vietnam in 1975, but the war in Vietnam still exists in the memories of soldiers returning from the war and works such as books, newspapers, memoirs ... recorded in Vietnam, the United States and all American allies such as Australia, Korea ... joined in that. However until now, the discussions about Vietnamese world in the West and the United States seem to have been avoided and less revealed the fiercest that the Vietnamese people suffered in that war. Researchers seem to avoid reflecting on the views of the Vietnamese war.

In the presentation, researching about the type of Dark Tourism was also analyzed by speaker Bui Thanh Huong. She also emphasized issues with the desire that can reflect on the war in Vietnam in which literary works published in Europe often evade. She contributed to unmasked curtain hided many things in the process of researching and developing Dark Tourism. Furthermore, the speaker wanted to bring apart to researchers understanding the aspects of the problem that Vietnamese people are eager to reflect.

Speaker Bui Thanh Huong returned to the Faculty of Tourism after nearly 20 years with many feelings and wished to contribute more to the development of the Faculty of Tourism Studies. With the time researching and teaching abroad, speaker Bui Thanh Huong had written more than 20 articles which is in the famous international journals and books about tourism development in Asia generally and in Vietnam particularly. She researched about the heritage of big Wars in 20th century and researching the war of Vietnam was the part of her confidential.

On a beautiful afternoon, Dr Pham Hong Long with faculty members and graduated students, undergraduate students and guests enthusiastically welcomed the speaker and throughout the lecture, there were many questions, contributions to make a successful presentation. Some photos of the presentation show the interest of the Faculty of Tourism Studies to the topic that the author is pursuing:















Author: Author: Trần Triọng Lưu – CH 14 Faculty of Tourism Studies / Translator: Trung Dương – K59 Faculty of Tourism Studies

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