Vietnam Center and Archive Guest Lecture Series

Museum of Texas Tech University

The mission of The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive Guest Lecture Series is to enrich the intellectual and cultural life of students, faculty, and the community at large by bringing distinguished individuals to campus for presentations on specific aspects of the Vietnam War, its lasting impact on American politics, society and culture, and on contemporary issues in Southeast Asia.

This series was made possible in 2011-2015 by a generous grant from the Helen Jones Foundation.

2015 Speakers

General Anthony C. Zinni

Museum of Texas Tech University
Friday, November 13th, 2015, 7:00 pm
Location: Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium, Museum of Texas Tech University

In his nearly 40 years of military service, Gen. Anthony Zinni (USMC, retired) has become one of the nation’s most sought-after and respected voices on military and international political matters. A two-tour veteran of the Vietnam War, Zinni has gone on to serve his country in numerous capacities, including multiple military and diplomatic missions, as well as humanitarian ones. Before his retirement from the Marine Corps in 2000, Zinni served as commanding general of U.S. Central Command. He has been awarded 23 personal U.S. medals and personal international awards from Vietnam, France, Italy, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen and Bahrain.

After leaving the military, Zinni has served the public in numerous capacities, including various national security, business, and educational roles. He has published numerous books, including the international bestseller coauthored with Tom Clancy, Battle Ready.

Lecture Video

Kyle Longley

Thursday, October 8th, 2015, 7:00PM
Location: International Cultural Center, Texas Tech University

Kyle Longley is the Snell Family Dean’s Distinguished Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies and the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. He is the author of The Sparrow and The Hawk: Costa Rica and the United States During the Rise of José Figueres (1997, winner of the A.B. Thomas Prize for outstanding book from the South Eastern Council on Latin American Studies), In the Eagle’s Shadow: The United States and Latin America (2002, 2nd edition 2009); Senator Albert Gore, Sr.: Tennessee Maverick (2004); Grunts: The American Combat Soldier in Vietnam (2008); and The Morenci Marines: A Tale of Small Town and the Vietnam War (winner of best history book from the AZ/NM Book Coop and a sSouthwest Book Award). He is also editor and contributor to Deconstructing Reagan: Conservative Mythology and America’s Fortieth President (2006) and The Enduring Legacy: Leadership and National Security Affairs during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan (publication forthcoming in 2016). He is currently completing a co-authored In Harm’s Way: A Military History of the United States and writing, A Year of a Continuous Nightmare: LBJ and 1968.

He is also a prize winning teacher, receiving the Centennial Professorship for outstanding teaching by the Associated Students of Arizona State University, the Zebulon Pearce Award for outstanding professor in the Humanities, and ASU Habitat for Humanity, “Making the World a Cooler Place to Live” teaching award.

Lecture Video

Yusef Komunyakaa

Thursday, September 10th, 2015, 7:00pm
Location: International Cultural Center, Texas Tech University

Yusef Komunyakaa is an award-winning poet, college professor, and Vietnam veteran. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1969-1970 as a reporter and as editor of Southern Cross, the newspaper of the 23rd (Americal) Division. His tour in Vietnam influences his poetry, as does his childhood growing up in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement. He has published seventeen books of poetry, including Dien Cai Dau, which was drawn from his wartime experiences, and Neon Vernacular for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1994.

He has been the recipient of numerous other awards including the William Faulkner Prize (Université Rennes, France), the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art, and libretti have been performed internationally, and include Slipknot, Wakonda’s Dream, Nine Bridges Back, Saturnalia, Testimony, The Mercy Suite, and Gilgamesh (a verse play) with Chad Gracia.

He teaches at New York University.

Lecture Video

Jan K. Herman & Captain Paul Jacobs

April 23rd, 2015, 7:00PM
Location: Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium, Museum of Texas Tech University

The Lucky Few

Jan K. Herman was the chief medical historian of the Navy from 1979 to 2012, the curator of the Old Naval Observatory, and editor-in-chief of Navy Medicine for 30 years. Since 2000, he has written and produced documentaries for the US Navy highlighting its medical service. In the documentary and its companion book, The Lucky Few, Herman tells the “relatively unknown heroic tale” of one small US Navy destroyer escort’s participation in the closing days of the Vietnam War. Herman has authored more than 50 articles and monographs plus five other books.

Captain Paul Jacobs (USN, retired) will also be in attendance. Jacobs served as commanding officer of the USS Kirk in April-May 1975 during Operation Frequent Wind (the evacuation of Saigon), during which the USS Kirk escorted the ships of the South Vietnamese Navy and 30,000 refugees to safety.

Museum of Texas Tech University
This lecture is sponsored by a generous grant from the Helen Jones Foundation and co-sponsored by the Museum of Texas Tech University.

Lecture Video

Further Information

  • Admission is free and open to the public.
  • Times and dates are subject to change. Please check this page or our Facebook Page for updated information.
  • If you require special accommodations, please call Amy Mondt at 806-742-9010.
  • Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed by these speakers are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive and Texas Tech University.

Guest Lecture Series and Video Links