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Palgrave Macmillan

Performing Remembering

Women's Memories of War in Vietnam

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Combines performance-centred ethnographic and oral history methods
  • Builds upon theory from an array of disciplines including performance and theatre studies, memory studies, oral history, postcolonial studies, gender studies, cultural studies, and Vietnamese/Southeast Asian studies
  • Focuses on the little-known wartime histories and present-day lives of Vietnamese communist women veterans

Part of the book series: Contemporary Performance InterActions (CPI)

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About this book

This book explores the performances and politics of memory among a group of women war veterans in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Through ethnographic, oral history-based research, it connects the veterans’ wartime histories, memory politics, performance practices, recollections of imprisonment and torture, and social activism with broader questions of how to understand and attend to continuing transgenerational violence and trauma. With an extensive introduction and subsequent chapters devoted to in-depth analysis of four women’s remarkable life stories, the book explores the performance and performativity of culture; ethnographic oral history practice; personal, collective, and (trans)cultural memory; and the politics of postwar trauma, witnessing, and redress. Through the veterans’ dynamic practices of prospective remembering, 'pain-taking', and enduring optimism, it offers new insights into matrices of performance vital to the shared work of social transformation. It will appeal to readers interested in performance studies, memory studies, gender studies, Vietnamese studies, and oral history.

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Table of contents (5 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

    Rivka Syd Eisner

About the author

Rivka Syd Eisner is Postdoctoral Researcher at the URPP Asia and Europe at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her writing has appeared in TDR: The Drama Review, Performance Research, Cultural Studies, Theatre Research International, and in edited volumes. She is co-editor of Re-Enacting the Past: Heritage, Materiality and Performance (2016). 

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