The connected course “Developing Vietnam” is unique in many aspects. It is the first undergraduate seminar course ever taught at Fulbright University Vietnam. More importantly, it is a connected course that involves several different kinds of connections. These include:
• Connections between two universities: Fulbright and Dartmouth
• Connections between Fulbright students and Dartmouth students
• Connections between individual learning and group project learning
• Connections between classroom learning and experiential learning
• Connections between and among different disciplines
This course explores the contemporary history, society, and culture of Vietnam, with a focus on the period since the 1980s. It will provide you with an introduction to Vietnamese Studies, which is both an interdisciplinary field and a transnational community of scholars and students in Vietnam and across the world. The course incorporates scholarship and methods from multiple disciplines, with particular attention to History, Literary and Film Studies, and Environmental Studies. These interdisciplinary investigations will be linked by our focus on the theme of development in Vietnam. In this course, we will analyze development historically and contextually; we will also seek to understand it not simply as an economic process, but also as a political, social, and ideological category.
This course inaugurates a new collaborative learning partnership between Dartmouth College , a member of the Ivy League founded in 1769, and .Fulbright University Vietnam , a liberal arts university established in Ho Chi Minh City in 2016. Throughout the autumn 2022 term, you and your Fulbright classmates will be interacting and co-learning with a group of American students enrolled in a similar course at Dartmouth. Our two courses will function as a single “connected course,” co-designed and co-taught by Dartmouth and Fulbright faculty, and using a common syllabus.
Beyond participating in online discussions and interactive assignments with your Fulbright peers, you will also work as part of a four-member team of Fulbright and Dartmouth students, known as a “F-D Team.” During the term, your F-D Teams will design and execute a team research project on a topic pertaining to development in contemporary Vietnam. For the Autumn 2022 edition of this course, all teams will conduct research about development in a particular place in southern Vietnam: the Bến Tre , well-known for its historical Concerted Uprising Movement which has been considered “the start of the Vietnam War” in 1960 and for being a destination of the Hồ Chí Minh Trail at sea; famous also for its local religions such as Caodaism and Coconut Religion; and renowned for housing several great personalities, such as the blind patriotic poet Nguyễn Đình Chiểu (1822-1888) celebrated by UNESCO, Vietnamese alphabet Quốc ngữ promoting champion savant Trương Vĩnh Ký (1837-1898), and several key Confucian literati in pre-modern Vietnam, such as Võ Trường Toản (1709-1792) or Phan Thanh Giản (1796-1867). As the “Kingdom of Coconuts” of Vietnam, the province’s economic development relies on agriculture, forestry, and fishery with its waterway of a complex dikes system. The province is now facing saline intrusion and other ecological problems but working hard to find appropriate solutions for its development. A three-day field study trip to the province and overnight stay at the Bird Park Vàm Hồ will provide students with an excellent chance to learn about Bến Tre. In addition to Bến Tre, F-D students of the course also have the opportunity to visit the Cần Giờ Mangrove Biosphere Reserve to enrich their understanding of Vietnam and its environmental issues.
Based on the experience and lessons earned from the field study trips and combing them with what you have learned from the course, at the end of the term, your team will present its research findings in two end-of-term assignments: a collaborative research paper and a short film (10-15 minutes) summarizing your research findings.

offering time

Fall 22


Vietnam Studies


Nguyen Nam


Course code


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