1996 Vietnam Symposium

"After the Cold War: Reassessing Vietnam"

18-20 April 1996
Underlined papers are available for viewing.
First papers online by June 24.
(Updated 6/20/96)

Thursday, 18 April 1996

8:15am Administrative Announcements & Opening Remarks:
James R. Reckner, Director, Center for the Study of the VietnamConflict

8:30am Opening Address:
Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., Chairman, Vietnam Center NationalCouncil

9:00am Session 1: International Relationships
Chair/Commentator: Spencer Tucker, Texas Christian University

  • "A Vietnamese Perspective on American Involvement in Vietnam,"
    Hon. Bui Diem, former South Vietnamese Ambassador to U.S.
  • "China, Russia, and American Vietnam Diplomacy,"
    George Herring, University of Kentucky
  • "The Soviet Union and North Vietnam,"
    Ilya Gaiduk, Academy of Sciences, Moscow

10:45am Session 2: Reassessing American Involvement
Chair/Commentator: James Harper, Texas Tech University

  • "The View from Langley: CIA Analysis of the Vietnam War,"
    John Prados, Independent Scholar and Author
  • "A Very Accurate Threat Assessment: The State DepartmentVietnam White Papers of 1961 and 1964 in Retrospect," StephenB. Young, Independent Scholar

12:30pm Lunch. Speaker: Major General Vang Pao

2:00pm Session 3: After the Cold War: Reassessing Vietnam,Roundtable Discussion
Hon. William E. Colby, Hon. Walt Rostow, Hon. Bui Diem, Dr. George Herring

3:45pm Session 4: Panel on Laos
Chair/Commentator: Ambassador Stephen Lyne, Boston University

  • "Broken Promises: The U.S. and the Hmong in Laos,"
    Jane Hamilton-Merritt,Southern Connecticut University
  • "Air America in Laos,"
    William M. Leary, University of Georgia
  • "How Laos Became Involved in the Cold War, 1954-1962,"
    Arthur J. Dommen, Indochina Institute, George Mason University

9:00pm Keynote Address:

Friday, 19 April 1996

8:30am Session 5A: Of POWs and MIAs
Chair/Commentator: Sedgwick D. Tourison, Independent Scholar andAuthor

  • "Report of the Vietnam Working Group of the US-Russian JointCommission on MIA/POW Affairs," Hon. Pete Peterson, AmericanCo-Chair.
  • "Freedom of Expression Behind the Wire: POWs and theAntiwar Movement,"
    Jim Ginther, Texas Tech University

8:30am Session 5B: "Domestic Legacies of the Vietnam War"
Chair: H.W. Brands, Texas A&M University

  • "Ronald Reagan and the End of the Cold War,"
    Charles E. Neu, Brown University
  • "J. William Fulbright and the Transformation of the SenateForeign Relations Committee,"
    Randall B. Woods, University of Arkansas
  • "Clinton, the G.O.P. and the War: The Decline of Vietnamas a Political Issue,"
    Paul Lyons, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
  • Commentators: H.W. Brands, Hoyt Purvis, University of Arkansas

8:30am Session 5C: The Navy in Vietnam
Chair/Commentator: Edward J. Marolda, Navy Historical Center

  • "Muddy Waters: The U.S. Navy's Search for a Riverine WarfareDoctrine during the Vietnam Conflict," R. Blake Dunnavent,Texas Tech University
  • "The Relevance of the Tonkin Gulf Incidents: U.S. MilitaryAction in Vietnam, August 1964,"
    Kim A. Weitzman, Youngstown State University
  • "Echoes of the Storm: An Assessment of the Navy's Lessonsfrom Rolling Thunder,"
    Les Cullen, Texas Tech University

10:15am Session 6A: The White House and the War
Chair/Commentator: TBA

  • "The President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefsof Staff: The Direction of the Vietnam War," Herbert Y. Schandler,Industrial College of the Armed Forces
  • "Justice Fortas, President Johnson and the Vietnam War: ASupreme Court Justice as Hawkish Military Advisor," "WilliePigg, California University of Penna.
  • "Countering the Antiwar Movement: The American Friends of Vietnamand the Johnson White House, 1965," Joseph G. Morgan, IonaCollege

10:15am Session 6B: Soldiering and Surviving: Behavioral Aspectsof War
Chair: Felix Moos, University of Kansas

  • "Boomtowns, Drugs, & Survival,"
    Felix Moos, University of Kansas
  • "Soldiering & Surviving in a Support Unit,"
    David Spurgeon, University of Kansas
  • "Songs of Air Force in the Vietnam War,"
    Lydia Fish, Buffalo State College

10:15am Session 6C: Panel on Teaching Vietnam
Chair: Joe P. Dunn, Converse College

  • "The State of the Field: How the Vietnam War Is Being Taught,"
    Joe P. Dunn, Converse College.
  • "Teaching Vietnam with Film: History Is Important, But SoIs Film Language,"
    Peter C. Rollins, Oklahoma State University
  • "What Now?: Teaching the Vietnam War at Century's End,"
    Steve Potts, Hibbing (MN) Community College

10:15am Session 6D: New Feminist and African American Scholarshipon the War and Its Aftermath
Chair: Kali Tal, Vietnam Generation

  • "Copping an Attitude: White Guys Write About Black Guys in Viet Nam War Fiction,"
    Kali Tal, Vietnam Generation
  • "This Isn't Civilization. This Is 'Nam': American Representatives of the Vietnamese Other," Renny Christopher, California State University, Stanislaus
  • "No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger . . ."
    Steven Gomes, Vietnam Generation
  • "'Trying to Get Over': Revision and Revolution in Black Vietnam War Movies,"
    Cynthia Fuchs, George Mason University

11:45am Lunch. Speaker: Douglas Pike, "Recent Developmentsin Vietnam"

1:15pm Session 7A: Armed Forces Reassessments
Chair/Commentator: LTC James Willbanks, U.S. Army Command &General Staff College

  • Army: LTC Conrad Crane, USMA, West Point
  • Navy: Edward J. Marolda, Navy Historical Center
  • Marine Corps: Jack Shulimson, Marine Corps Historical Center

1:15pm Session 7B "Reassessing Patterns of Remembrancein Vietnam War Memorials"
Chair:William Head, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, RobinsAFB

  • "Multiple Meanings, Multiple Visions: Designing the Californiaand Cleveland Vietnam Veterans Memorials," Rolf Nord Kriken,Nordhammer Art Foundry, Oakland, CA
  • "Embracing the Warrior, Letting Go of the War: Vietnam VeteranMemorials in Georgia,"
    Marc Jason Gilbert, North Georgia College
  • "Patterns of Change in the Form and Content of Vietnam WarMemorials,"
    Carole Blair, University of California, Davis
  • Commentator: Ellen Pinzur, formerly Office Manager, The New EnglandShelter for Homeless Veterans

1:15pm Session 7C: "The Veterans' Continuing War: Stereotypesand Reality"
Chair/Commentator: John N. Frary, Middlesex (NJ) County College

1:15pm Session 7D: Education in Vietnam
Chair/Commentator: Thomas J. Dombrowsky, Gettysburg College

  • "Education and Economics in Vietnam Today,"
    Lee Little Soldier & Eleanor Miller, Texas Tech University
  • "The American War in Vietnamese Schools,"
    David M. Berman, University of Pittsburgh
  • "Telling the Story: The Vietnam Conflict,"
    Ted Engelmann, Vietnam Education Project, Denver (Compares curriculum/strategiesfor teaching the Vietnam War in Vietnam, South Korea, Australiaand the United States)

3:00pm Session 8A: The War in the Villages
Chair/Commentator: Don Walker, Texas Tech University

  • "Villager Attitudes During the Vietnam War,"
    Mark Moyar, Independent Scholar and Author
  • "'Do We Have It Right Yet?': Lyndon Baines Johnson's Searchfor an Effective Pacification Policy," Richard A. Hunt, Center of Military History
  • "Creative Circumvention: Differing Views of CounterinsurgencyDuring the Presidency of John F. Kennedy," Matthew Lerner,Texas Tech University

3:00pm Session 8B: Vietnam Film and Fiction
Chair: Marc Leepson, Arts Editor, VVA Veteran

  • "American Fiction about the Vietnam War: How the CreativeProcess Reflects and Interprets Vietnam War Experiences,"Walter Jones, University of Utah
  • "Seeking a Happy Medium: The Film and Fiction of the VietnamWar,"
    John Clark Pratt, Colorado State University

3:00pm Session 8C: Vietnamese Memorials and Remembrance
Chair/Commentator: Patricia Pelley, Texas Tech University

  • "The Vietnamese Tradition of War and Remembrance,"
    Nguyen Ba Cung, University of Massachusetts
  • "Women's Museums in Vietnam,"
    Sandra Taylor, University of Utah

3:00pm Session 8D: A Vietnam Miscellany
Chair/Commentator: Gary J. Bjorge, Army Command and General Staff College

3:00pm Session 8E: More on POWs
Chair/Commentator: Hugh Boyle, Brown University

8:00pm Films from the Tulane University Conference markingthe 25th Anniversary of My Lai

8:00pm Vietnam Poetry Reading

8:00pm Special Panel on Laos
Moderator: Jane Hamilton-Merritt

Saturday, 20 April

8:30am Session 9A: Air Force Reassessments
Chair/Commentator: Capt. Larry Martin, U.S. Air Force Academy

8:30am Session 9B: Other Nations' Involvement in South Vietnam
Chair/Commentator: Gary M. Bell, Texas Tech University

  • "Get Me Ten Years: Australia's Ted Serong in Vietnam, 1962-1975,"
    Anne Blair, National Center for Australian Studies, Monash University.
  • "Making the Difference: New Zealand and the Vietnam War,the Problems of a Small State,"
    James Rock, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • "The Spook in the Tunnel: The CIA and the Success of IntelligenceDuring the Vietnamese Wars, 1949 to 1973," Larry Cable, UNCWilmington

8:30am Session 9C: Political and Economic Legacies of the VietnamWar in Comparative Perspective
Chair:Randy Bush, Gustavus Adolphus College

  • "The Political Economy of Transition: Gradualism, Radicalismand Vietnam,"
    Xiaobo Hu, Morehead State University
  • "Political and Economic Legacies of American Wars in Asia:Korea and Vietnam,"
    Randy Bush, Gustavus Adolphus College
  • "Twenty Years After: The Renewal of Diplomatic RelationsBetween America and Vietnam,"
    Samuel B. Hoff, Delaware State University
  • Commentator: Pingchao Zhu, Miami University (Ohio)

8:30am Session 9D: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Chair/Commentator: TBA

8:30am Session 9E: More Vietnam Miscellany
Chair/Commentator: Major Ralph Millsap, USAF, Air Command and Staff College

  • "Why Was the British Counterinsurgency Advice Ignored? DoesSuch Advice Remain Useful Today, Such as in Bosnia, etc.?"Geoffrey Shaw, University of Manitoba
  • "U.S. - South Korean Relations and the Vietnam War, "
    Yong S. Lee, Ohio Univ.
  • "Cannon Fodder or Economic Opportunity? Project 100,000 andthe Vietnam War,"
    Jeffrey A. Thomas, Northland Pionner College, Holbrook, AZ

10:30am Session 10: Panel Discussion
Admiral Zumwalt, General Giap [tentative], + Senior Army officer

12:00pm: Lunch,

  • Speaker: Lewis Sorley, "A Better War: The Neglected Later Years of American Involvement in Vietnam"

2:00pm Session 11A: Panel on Veterans' Issues
Chair: James R. Reckner, Texas Tech University

  • "The Vietnam Veterans' Initiative,"
    James L. Brazee, Jr., National President, VVA
  • "Stolen Valor: How a False Image of Vietnam Veterans HasShaped Public Opinion and the History of the Vietnam War,"B. G. Burkett, Author

2:00pm Session11B:The Media and the Vietnam Experience
Chair/Commentator: Chester Pach, Ohio University

  • "The New York Times, Vietnam, and the Development of an OppositionalPress,"
    Louis J. Campomenosi, Tulane University
  • "The Five O'Clock Follies Revisited: Vietnam Reporting andthe Legacy of Controversy,"
    Arnold R. Isaacs, Towson State University
  • Currently untitled paper by Clarence Myatt

2:00pm Session 11C: The Antiwar Movement
Chair/Commentator: TBA

  • "Kent State and Ball State: Two Campuses at War with theWar,"
    Tony Edmonds, Ball State University
  • "Generation Units and Social Change: A Sociological Perspectiveon the Anti-War Movement," Charlotte Dunham, Texas Tech University
  • "In Retrospect, the Anti-War Movement's Effect on U.S. Policy,"
    James Fendrich, Florida State University

2:00pm Session 11D:Vietnam and China
Chair/Commentator: Xiaoming Zhang, Texas Tech University

3:45pm Final Comments and Closing of Symposium
James Reckner, Director, Center for the Study of the Vietnam Conflict

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