Fall 2012 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course will analyze the reaction and response of American society to the political and military defeat that the United States suffered at the hands of the North Vietnamese and their allies in the South, the Viet Cong. In pursuing this perception of defeat, we will examine the nature of the debate that has raged in scholarly, political, and military circles over why the United States was unable to achieve its objective of an independent, non-Communist South Vietnam. But we will also want to examine how Americans, bred on a history of success, interpret this defeat. As such, we will want to analyze how novelists, filmmakers, dramatists, poets, philosophers, musicians, media critics, anti-war activists, and veterans have attempted to explain Vietnam.
TEXTBOOKS (All Paperbacks):
Duong Van Mai Elliot, The Sacred Willow.
Robert McMahon, ed. Major Problems of the Vietnam War. 4th ed.
David Halberstam, Ho
Graham Greene, The Quiet American.
Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War.
Michael Hunt, Lyndon Johnson’s War.
Stewart O’Nan, ed., The Vietnam Reader.
Duong Thu Huong, Novel Without a Name.
Camilla Gibb, The Beauty of Humanity Movement.
Note: We will also be viewing documentaries such as Hearts and Minds, Remember My-Lai, The War at Home, and Regret to Inform, and excerpts from feature films such as Apocalypse Now and Hamburger Hill.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Faithful attendance at seminar sessions; vigorous and informed participation in seminar discussions; submission of a series (8-12) of short (1,000-1,250 words) papers based on assigned readings. Final grade will be based on instructor’s evaluation of student’s entire effort in class.