[URBANTH-L]Vietnam Update 2009: Migration Nation Call for Papers

Ashley Carruthers Ashley.Carruthers at anu.edu.au
Tue Apr 7 21:20:06 EDT 2009

Call for Papers

Vietnam Update 2009: Migration Nation

19-20 November 2009
The Australian National University, Canberra

Migration has played a significant role in defining the shape of
contemporary Vietnamese society. In the nation's recent past, millions
have migrated domestically and internationally as a result of conflict,
ideological struggle, and epochal nation-building projects. In the wake
of reform, comparable numbers are on the move in association with a new
migratory scenario characterised by underdevelopment, inequality,
opportunity, and the aspiration to social mobility.

Contemporary Vietnamese migration is marked by a proliferation of
sending locales and receiving destinations as migrants move between an
increasing variety of points within the country and across its borders.
Population movements associated in earlier scholarly literature largely
with war-induced dislocation and nation-building initiatives are now
easily matched in both size and complexity by an immense variety of
migration types. These migrations are motivated by dynamics including
the penetration of national and global capital into previously secluded
regions; the processes of urbanisation and industrialisation; and the
inequalities and opportunities associated with Vietnam's structural
position in the Indochinese, Asian and global economies.

These forces are producing rural to urban migration for seasonal or more
permanent work in the building, industrial and service sectors; circular
and permanent migration to Cambodia and Laos for both skilled and
unskilled labour, trade, investment and resource exploitation;
transnational labour migration to East Asia and Malaysia; marriage
migration to South Korea and Taiwan; and educational migration to a
great variety of destinations. In addition to these outmigrations, one
must also take account of the significant effect on the Vietnamese
homeland of return migration and the flow of economic and social capital
from the refugee and labour diasporas.

For the 2009 update, the organisers seek papers that consider these and
other contemporary and historical Vietnamese migratory flows in a
critical and comparative light. We invite presenters to respond to one
or a combination of key themes which we have outlined, and elaborated
with indicative (but not exclusive) sub-topics, below.

1. Mapping the Landscape

The landscape of historical and contemporary Vietnamese migration is
dynamic and complex. In the light of new evidence, historians continue
to debate the meaning of significant migratory events such as 1954.
Meanwhile other migrations, such as those within Indochina, or those
from one highland region to another, have been relatively neglected.
Rural to urban migration is a growth area for current research, and yet
a clear picture of this phenomenon has yet to emerge. Under this topic
heading, we invite papers that help us to make sense of the causes,
routes and meanings of historical and contemporary Vietnamese
migrations. Possible sub-topics include:

· continuities and ruptures in migration patterns from past to present

· debates in the historiography of migration

· mapping new sending and receiving regions

· new and neglected migration trajectories

2. Policy and Governance

Current Vietnamese migration is arguably shaped more by economic factors
and familial and individual decisions than by the state. Nevertheless,
population movements are also a response to the vision of national
development favoured by Hanoi. Under this topic we wish to examine how
voluntary population movements intersect with policy priorities and
regulatory regimes in both Vietnam and in nations receiving Vietnamese
labour and other migrants. Possible foci for papers under this topic

· migration policy versus migration practice

· migration and industrialisation/urbanisation policy

· regulatory mechanisms and measures in Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea
and Taiwan

· returned/connected migrants as an interest group

· migrant "cosmopolitanisation" in the cities and overseas as a
political challenge

3. Economics and Development

Arguably its migratory patterns are now in character with the Vietnam's
"normalised" status as a developing Asian nation. Under this topic we
wish to explore how contemporary Vietnamese migrations both respond to
and shape socioeconomic conditions in the cities and countryside.
Suggested sub-topics include:

· the macro-structural context for migration

· segmented and gendered labour markets

· the global financial crisis

· remittances

· demographic and environmental pressures

4. Local and Household Experiences

In this topic we wish to focus on the individual and family experience
of the macro-structures that form the wider context for Vietnamese
migration. In this micro context, migrants typically possess situated
and partial understandings of the risks and opportunities connected to
certain migration pathways. Compatriots already settled in the cities or
overseas may inform their decisions and aid in their resettlement. Those
who stay behind may also experience local social and economic
transformations as a result of cumulative emigration from their home
villages or towns. Suggested sub-themes:

· individual and collective decision-making

· household risk diversification

· migrant networks and social capital

· new kinship arrangements across space

· transformations of gender identities and the division of labour at home

5. Diasporas and Transnationalism

A significant number of Vietnamese emigrants belong to permanently or
semi-permanently settled overseas communities such as the refugee
diaspora in the West or the transnational labour and bride diasporas in
Asia. Under this heading, we wish to focus on the significance of these
extraterritorial populations from the point of view of the homeland.
That is to say, to what extent has Hanoi responded to the risks and
opportunities associated with re-engaging the Vietnamese diaspora(s)?
Has the presence led to a shift in the way national identity is
conceptualised in the homeland? Possible topics for investigation include:

· new transnational identities and relationships

· Vietnamese transnational citizenship?

· transnational marriage and families across borders

· virtual migrant worlds: transnational media and communications

· non-Vietnamese expatriate communities in Vietnam (business,
educational, etc)

Proposal Submissions:

Contributors should send their proposals and a one page CV to Dr Ashley
Carruthers by 15 May 2009. Email: ashley.carruthers at anu.edu.au

Each proposal should be no longer than 600 words. We are seeking papers

· make a substantive empirical engagement with contemporary or
historical Vietnamese migrations

· specify their methodologies and offer testable hypotheses

· offer a comparative perspective on aspects of Vietnamese migration

· combine two or more of the questions and themes outlined above

· take an interdisciplinary perspective on migration

Please note that paper submissions must nominate a specific topic or
combination of topics outlined in the call for papers. Submissions that
fail to do so will not be eligible for consideration for inclusion in
the Update.

The conference organizers will collectively make the final decision on
which proposals to accept. We will then extend invitations to the
authors of the selected proposals to prepare and present their papers to
the conference. The organizers reserve the right to reject papers
presented and also to solicit papers, if necessary, from individuals who
did not submit proposals.

Some funding for travel and accommodation is available and details will
be discussed later with each paper presenter.

Paper Specifications:

The paper itself should be submitted 30 days before the date of the

The paper should not exceed 10,000 words and it should include
appropriate bibliography and citations. It should be as close as
possible to a final draft of a paper written for scholarly peer review
as possible. Each paper should include an abstract of 200 words.

Presentation and Publication:

We envisage about ten paper presentations during a one and a half day
workshop in Canberra on 19-20 November 2009. The conference will also
have two presentations about recent political and economic developments
in Vietnam.

At the Update each author will have approximately 40 minutes to
summarise what her/his paper argues and the evidence used. The full text
of the paper may be included, subject to any necessary revisions to meet
publication requirements, in a refereed book that we hope will be
published within a year after the conference.

Conference Organisers:

For further information, please contact any of the following organizers:

Convenor: Ashley Carruthers, School of Archaeology & Anthropology,
Faculty of Arts. Email: ashley.carruthers at anu.edu.au

Philip Taylor, Dept. of Anthropology, RSPAS, The Australian National
Email: philip.taylor at anu.edu.au

David Koh, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.
Email: davidkoh at iseas.edu.sg

David Marr, Division of Pacific and Asian History, RSPAS, The Australian
National University.
Email: dgm405 at coombs.anu.edu.au

Li Tana, Division of Pacific and Asian History, RSPAS, The Australian
National University.
Email: tana.li at anu.edu.au

Ben Kerkvliet, Dept. of Political and Social Change, RSPAS, The
Australian National University.
Email: ben.kerkvliet at anu.edu.au

Thai Duy Bao, Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University.
Email: bao.thai at anu.edu.au

Dr Ashley Carruthers
Regional Editor (Southeast Asia)
Asian Studies Review 
School of Archaeology and Anthropology
A.D. Hope Building, 014
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia
T: +61 2 6125 6788
F: +61 2 6125 2711

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