The Saigon-Seoul Street Studio Project (New Viet Nam Studies Initiative, UC Davis)

Put quite simply, this project hopes to use clothing as a means to foster cross-cultural empathy and understanding between Vietnam and South Korea. It will take national dress as a starting off point and the main focus of aesthetic exchange between the two cultures. Understood as what the other side wears, and as the sartorial symbol of that other side, national dress is the outer shell of appearance that can most easily be worn, shorn or even exchanged. Whether it is the Vietnamese ao dai, the Korean hanbok, or even the more currently trendy street fashion spreading across the globe from the streets and runways of Seoul, national dress is something one can consciously inhabit, and which can allow a direct, empathetically powerful assumption of another point-of-view, another mode of being.

Courtesy of Dr. Michael W. Hurt

The New Việt Nam Studies Initiative based at the University of California at Davis, will quarterback this joint project composed of many parts and players, all working towards the common goal of fostering artistic and scholarly exchange between Vietnam and Korea. The New Việt Nam Studies Initiative brings together scholars, industry experts, government officials, activists, and artists to lend their knowledge of the many dimensions that comprise contemporary Viet Nam. New Việt Nam Studies, or the study of the economic reconstruction and cultural renewal of Viet Nam, will help move this country beyond the major conflicts of its recent history to chart its own course into the future.

Caroline Valverde (UC Davis)
Michael W. Hurt (Korea National University of the Arts)

For more information:

Korea-Vietnam Working Group Meeting at 2020 AAS

Are you interested in comparing and connecting Korea and Vietnam in your research or teaching? The Korea-Vietnam Working Group (KVG) has been approved as an official AAS (Association of Asian Studies) affiliate group. The group aims to put scholars of both countries in dialogue with one another, while creating a framework for meaningful collaboration across fields. KVG will be hosting its first meeting at the 2020 AAS in Boston.

  • Meeting Venue: Hynes Convention Center
  • Room Assignment: Room 206
  • Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
  • Time: 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

To learn more, join us for a meet and greet and a short presentation, with discussion following, by KVG members John Lee and Bradley Camp Davis:

Working Group Meeting Presentation – Environmental Histories of Korea and Vietnam: A Discussion of Teaching and Research 

In the next decade, universities across the world will admit a generation of students for whom climate change has been the primary crisis of their time. Historians can provide the contexts for further comprehension of our histories with nature, with hope that future generations can find better solutions.  Environmental history is, in a sense, an argument about the enduring relevance of long term change for our shared world. Using new work on Korea and Vietnam, we will discuss how environmental history can provide a framework for introductory and more advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. Following a brief presentation, we will open the topic to discussion for both KVG members and other attendees.  

Sponsored Panel:
Coping with Abundance: Categories of Knowledge in Early Modern East Asia

This year, the KVG is also the official sponsor of panel 253, Coping with Abundance: Categories of Knowledge in Early Modern East Asia

  • Organizer: Nathan Vedal, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Chair: Marcia Yonemoto, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Paper Presenters:
    • Young Kyun Oh, Arizona State University
    • Kathelene Baldanza, Pennsylvania State University
    • Nathan Vedal, Washington University, St. Louis
    • Mårten Söderblom Saarela, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

In the future, KVG will continue to select panels to formally sponsor for the AAS。

For more information about KVG,

To sign up as a member of the KVG,,