Re-Articulating Hmong History through the Terrorism Case against General Vang Pao

Ma Vang, PhD
University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Comparative Literature
FRIDAY, January 25, 2013
12:10 PM

This talk examines Hmong articulations of their history as refugees displaced from the United States’ “secret war” in Laos (1961-1975) and a people without a geographic homeland. By analyzing the U.S. terrorism case against the Hmong leader General Vang Pao, it shows how ill-fitting groups such as Hmong become the target of state violence in an age in which the enemy is considered to be everywhere. The talk argues that Hmong articulate the past through a process of dragging history that reveals U.S. strategies of liberal war, which rely on military violence and postwar rescue. Tracing the Hmong refugee figure as a U.S. ally who can also become a terrorist positions the systematic secrecy of the war within the circulation of knowledge about the Cold War.

Ma Vang received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Sponsored by Viral Ports, Virtual Currents: A 2012-2013 Andrew W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities.

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