All resources in Contested Territory: America's Role in Southeast Asia, 1945-75 (July 2022)

Bound by War: How the United States and the Philippines Built America's First Pacific Century

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Linking military history to histories of immigration and civil rights, Bound by War tells the story of the United States and the Philippines through the wars the two nations fought together. Ever since U.S. troops occupied the Philippines in 1898, generations of Filipinos have served in the U.S. armed forces. Their service reshaped Philippine society and politics and brought tens of thousands of Filipinos to America, where World War II veterans fought a decades-long legal struggle to win citizenship and veterans benefits.

Material Type: Lecture

First American Commitment to Vietnam

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The United States first engaged with Vietnam in the immediate aftermath of World War II, as it struggled with the dilemmas of postwar reconstruction, the course of decolonization in Asia, and perceived Soviet aggression across the globe. Though largely unremarked at the time, during the late 1940s the administration of Harry S. Truman chose sides in Vietnam—or, more broadly, Indochina—underwriting the French-sponsored government of the former emperor Bao Dai in the south, while distancing itself from the nationalist movement led by Ho Chi Minh and tainted, in its view, by its communist rhetoric and associations. Even before the outbreak of war in Korea in June 1950, the die was cast: the United States sided with the French in their effort to restore their empire in Indochina. Why did the United States make this choice? Were there alternatives to it? This webinar explores these and other questions.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Andy Rotter

Memorials are Blunt Instruments: Commemoration at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Beyond

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Why would someone bring a can of beer to a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.? Why would someone project a photograph of Breonna Taylor, a black health care worker killed in her sleep during a global pandemic, onto the base of a memorial to Robert E. Lee? The short answer to these questions is that memorials, even when they seem silent and dusty, really matter to Americans. This webinar will offer a short history of memorials in the U.S. and will focus on the collection of tens of thousands of objects left at the base of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to explore what these things, and these memorials, can tell us about how Americans have worked to define who belongs and who matters; It will open up a conversation about how and why memorials have been shockingly effective in marking these crucial, often brutal distinctions.

Material Type: Lecture

The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University

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In May 1989, a group of Vietnam veterans from West Texas gathered at Texas Tech University to discuss what they might do, in a positive way, about their experiences in Vietnam. That group's immediate decision was to form a Vietnam Archive and begin collecting and preserving materials relating to the American Vietnam experience. In November 1989, the Board of Regents of Texas Tech University established the Vietnam Center, with the dual missions of funding and guiding the development of the Vietnam Archive and encouraging continuing study of all aspects of the American Vietnam experience. The Vietnam Center seeks to provide a forum for all points of view and for all topics relating to Indochina, particularly - but not limited to - the American military involvement there. At our conferences and symposia, we encourage the presentation of papers by veterans and others who directly participated in and supported wartime events as well as by individuals who opposed the war. We encourage participation by our former allies in South Vietnam but also offer the same participation to those who supported the government in Hanoi.

Material Type: Data Set, Primary Source, Reading

Author: Texas Tech University

Contested Territory Bibliography & Resources

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This bibliography supports Contested Territory: America's Role in Southeast Asia, 1945-75 Summer Institute. The "required" section features the readings, maps, and other resources assigned by the scholars. The "recommended" section features readings, documentary and feature films, online bibliographies, primary source databases, and the like relevant to teaching. "Sample lessons" include three activities that I (Christian) have used in class to spark discussion.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Christian Lentz

Sequence Squares

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This experiential activity has participants place historical events in chronological order using primary sources.  This activity works well as a formative assessment to identify gaps in understanding, to introduce new material, and to emphasize the importance of causation.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Andy Mink, Christian Lentz

Teaching about Vietnam’s Ideological Conflicts: The Contested Legacy of Migration and War in the Global Vietnamese community today

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To gain deeper insights on the contentious narrative about the end of the Vietnam War (especially in the Vietnamese diaspora in the US), it is vital to understand the ideologies of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (*North Vietnam*) and the Republic of Vietnam (*South Vietnam*). Through analyzing the primary sources  of  Hồ Chí Minh’s essay (1952) and Ngô Đình Diệm’s speech (1957), students will be able to identify how communism and capitalism intensified the Vietnamese conflict. Students will also be able to articulate how memory is deeply contested through comparing and contrasting articles about “Reunification Day” and “Black April”. The summative assessments of the seminar and essay task students with interrogating how the country of origin and migration groups clash over the memory of the Vietnam War. 

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Case Study, Diagram/Illustration, Homework/Assignment, Interactive, Lesson, Module, Primary Source, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Vincent Pham, NHC Education

Anti- colonial Nationalism & Making of Modern Southeast Asia

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This provides teachers with some materials to explore anticolonial nationalism and independence in Southeast Asia. It is designed with an AP World History class in mind, but could also be used in a non-AP world history course. It begins with a storymap to introduce students to the topic, and includes additional readings, both secondary source (book review) and primary source, as well as discussion questions and research opportunities. 

Material Type: Case Study, Primary Source, Reading, Student Guide

Author: Louisa Sandes

Preparing Students for Visiting Veterans

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This story map incudes examples and activities that can be used to help prepare students for veterans visiting your classroom. It works to help students see veterans as people with valuable, but sometimes very senstive stories that need to be handled respectfully. It includes activites for students to explore records of soldier deaths from North Carolina, review the Living Wall online, listen to oral histories that were previously recorded, and to explore their own curiosities in preparing to actually meet with veterans and ask them questions.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Jenna McBrayer

Factors of Democracy in Southeast Asia

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This is a short series of lessons examining the relationship between free access to media and journalistic freedom and the corresponding levels of democracy in the eleven Southeast Asian countries. There is also a contextual essay that describes how I intend to use this in AP U.S. Government and Politics. NOTE: I hope to continue to add to this map to include other layers such as number and type of television stations, radio stations, etc. Eventually, I hope to branch out from media to make this a more general examination of democracy, including layers like number of political parties, freedom to assemble, etc.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Interactive, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Primary Source, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Lisa Dudgeon

Medical Units in Vietnam 1965-1970

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Are there  positive impacts of war? It may be hard to identify many, but all can agree that the advancement of medicine and medical care are positive consequences of the challenges faced in war. This lesson will focus on the medical advancements and personnel who served in Vietnam 1965-1970.

Material Type: Case Study, Data Set, Lecture Notes, Reading

Author: Jamie Bachmann

Analyzing Traditional and Modern Vietnamese Poetry

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This lesson is a mix of History and English in one spot! Learn about and analyze Vietnamese authors by looking at their poetry, but also discover how historical events and the geography of Vietnam impacted the authors' perspective and literary content. Your students will have the opportunity to use technology to read maps while they explore the country of Vietnam. A final assessment option consists of a compare/contrast essay looking at interpretation and justification of the poems. 

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Interactive, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Author: Mariel Herzog