Recombinant History: Transnational Practices of Memory and Knowledge Production in Contemporary Vietnam



Recent years have seen the diversification of knowledge, memory, and meaning at former battlefields and other social spaces that invoke the history of the “American War” in Vietnam. Popular icons of the war have been recycled, reproduced, and consumed in a rapidly growing international tourism industry. The commodification of sites, objects, and imaginaries associated with the war has engendered certain rearticulations of the past in the public sphere as the terrain of memory making becomes increasingly transnational. Diverse actors—including tourism authorities, returning U.S. veterans, international tourists, domestic visitors, and guides—engage in divergent practices of memory that complicate, expand, and often transcend dominant modes of historical representation in new and distinct ways.