Writing on Vietnam

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New Year, New Blog!

Happy year of the buffalo!

I’ve decided to begin the new year by blogging on my studies of Vietnamese history, politics and culture.

I’ve maintained blogs before, under various pseudonyms, and none was very successfull. But now I’m giving it another go! There are three main reasons for the change of heart, and I think explaining them will make a good first post that will clarify the purpose of the blog and give any future readers a sense of the overall trajectory.

Lets get the most boring reason out of the way first. I hope the blog will help me organize my own reserch and reading, to clarify the topics that are central to my research and my understanding of the country. No doubt this is a selfish motivation will appeal to very few readers, but this will be the primary initial motivation for me to get “over the hump” and actually produce content. Anyway, I can’t count on readers ever arriving.

The second reason is because I find myself summarizing and translating a lot of material that I believe would interest those who want to learn more about the country. Unfortunately, all these ideas are buried in scattered notes and emails. Since they are unlikely to ever make it into a published piece of writing, they are unavailable to whoever might want to read about these topics, either because they don’t know the languages, or because they don’t have the time, knowhow, and research access to search for themselves. So, once blogged, this information will be made more available. Furthermore, by exposing these ideas to the light of the internet, they could also benefit from public criticism and contribute to the development of the field, albeit in a microscopic capacity.

The third reason is because I have many ancilliary projects that don’t relate directly to my research, or even to history, but that nonetheless might be of interest to a wider audiance. This blog will be a clearinghouse for those other projects.

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