Friday, December 18, 2009

CFP: Vietnam conference, State Department Historian's Office

Office of the Historian, Department of State, will hold a conference on September 29-30, 2010, on American policy and war in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975. The conference will take place in the George C. Marshall Conference Center at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and will serve three purposes. It will showcase and commemorate the work of the Historian’s Office in documenting United States policy in Southeast Asia in the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series in over 24,000 pages of documents; and it will provide--through participants’ papers, presentations, and panels--a full-scale examination/reexamination of United States policy, beginning with the Indochina War (1946-1954), continuing through the American periods of advice and support (1955-1964) and intervention (1965-1973), and ending with the Fall of Saigon (1975). Finally, the conference will explore the relationship between force and diplomacy in both the prosecution of the war and the peace negotiations. Proposals on the post-1975 era leading to “normalization” will be considered but the conference will focus on the period of greatest American involvement.

The first day’s program will include the following: a keynote address by a senior official of the Department of State; a roundtable discussion by Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon-Ford Administration policy advisors on Vietnam; presentations by scholars from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; and a panel of presentations by senior scholars of the War. The second day’s program will consist of a series of panels where academic and independent scholars will present papers on topics/themes related directly or indirectly to American policy in Indochina from 1946 to 1975.

Those interested in submitting proposals should keep in mind that the Program Committee will be more likely to form panels by historical period than by theme, but the latter will be considered.

To achieve the above objectives, the Program Committee welcomes proposals for original papers/panels dealing with, but not limited to, the following
topics:
● The Cold War and United States policy in/for Southeast Asia
● Early United States involvement in Southeast Asia: Truman to Kennedy
● The Americanization of the Vietnam War-policy, strategy, and operations
● United States relationships with and/or involvement in South Vietnamese governments
● The role of force and diplomacy in the implementation of policy
● The air war against North Vietnam
● Vietnamese Communists’ approaches to the war
● The influence of non-governmental players-e.g., the media, the anti-war movement-on policy and public opinion
● Intelligence and policy
● Pacification and nation-building in South Vietnam
● Embassy Saigon and the implementation of United States policy in South Vietnam
● Explanations for the outcome of the Vietnam War
● The legacy of the Vietnam War for American military and foreign policies

Paper and panel proposals (abstracts and curricula vitae) must be in English, which is the language of the conference, and should be sent, via e-mail or fax, by March 1, 2010 to:
Dr. John M. Carland, Program Committee Chair, Office of the Historian:
email: vietnamconference@state.gov
fax: 202.663.1289
Hat tip: H-Diplo.

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