The French memory of the Indochina War (1945—1954) | Leiden Asia Year
11/04/2017 @ 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar by Kathryn Edwards.
How does a nation come to terms with losing a war—especially an overseas war whose purpose is fervently contested? In the years after the war, how does such a nation construct and reconstruct its identity and values? For the French in Indochina, the stunning defeat at Dien Bien Phu ushered in the violent process of decolonization and a fraught reckoning with a colonial past. In this seminar professor Edwards analyzes the layers of French remembrance, focusing on state-sponsored commemoration, veterans’ associations, special-interest groups, intellectuals, films, and heated public disputes. These narratives constitute the ideological battleground for contesting the legacies of colonialism, decolonization, the Cold War, and France’s changing global status.
Kathryn Edwards is assistant professor of modern French history at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the author of Contesting Indochina: French Remembrance between Decolonization and Cold War (University of California Press, 2016).