HISTORY 398: Special Topics: The Vietnam Experience

(Online ACS Course Fall 1999)

 

Schedule of Classes

Richmond (Ernest Bolt)

Office and Office Hours: Ryland Hall 107, MW 11:00 to noon; TTH 2:15-3:00; other times by appointment

Class begins on Wed Aug 25

Class ends on Mon Dec 6

Final Exam 7-10 p.m. on F Dec 10

==========================

Wed Aug 25 -- Local Course: Nature of Online Course and Introductions

 

WEEK 1: What made the wars possible?

Mon Aug 30: Pre-Colonial Vietnam (Bolt)

1. SarDesai 1-30

2. Duiker 5-11

3. Taylor, from The Birth of Vietnam (Library Reserve) 17-27, 37-41, 334-339

4. Terada, from Under the Starfruit Tree (Library Reserve) 120-125

 

Wed Sept 1: The French Experience in Vietnam (Lairson)

1. SarDesai 31-56

2. Duiker 11-94

3. Herring 21-45

Complete the Background Knowledge Survey

 

WEEK 2: Origins of American involvement

Mon Sept 6: (Labor Day -- Not a holiday at Richmond): Exemplary French film and literature (Alexander)

1. Hayslip, from When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, 1-23 (Library Reserve)

2. "Indochine"

 

Wed Sept 8: The U.S. Advisory Experience, 1954-1965 ( Bolt)

1. Duiker 95-164

2. Herring 47-119

3. Moore, from The Green Berets (O'Nan 17-40)

 

WEEK 3: Americans cross the Rubicon

Mon Sept 13 and W Sept 15: Paths not taken: Counterfactual Thinking about the Johnson escalation, 1964-65 (Lairson)

1. Herring 121-157

2. Burke and Greenstein, from How Presidents Test Reality: 118-133; 150-173; 195-230 (Library Reserve)

3. Duiker 172-184

4. Simulation

 

WEEK 4: LOCAL COURSE

At this point in the course, each professor determines readings for your class, based on the local course requirements.

Mon Sept 20 and Wed Sept 22: Who was John Paul Vann?

1. Sheehan, from A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, "Ap Bac" (Library     Reserve) 203-265

(Yom Kipur)

Wed Sept 22 -- First film/documentary review paper due

 

WEEK 5: Search and Destroy/People's War

Mon Sept 27: American strategic operations and questions (Lairson)

1. Herring 159-201

2. Halberstam, from One Very Hot Day (O'Nan 57-72)


Wed Sept 29: People's War and Tran Van Tra (Bolt)

1. Duiker 139-184; 185-208

2. Tran Van Tra (online selections of his memoirs)

3. "Life in the Maquis" (Library Reserve)

 

WEEK 6: Literature and film on fighting the war: Part One

Mon Oct 4 and Wed Oct 6: Perspectives of witnesses: representing the combat experience (Alexander)

1. Edwards, from Bloods (O'Nan 324-337)

2. O'Brien, from The Things They Carried (O'Nan 503-538)

 

WEEK 7: The Tet Offensive

1. Herring 203-241

2. Duiker 204-218

3.O'Brien, from In the Lake of the Woods (O'Nan 655-671)

Mon Oct 11: NO CLASS - FALL BREAK AT RICHMOND

Wed Oct 13: The Tet Offensive (Lairson)

                     Additional Materials on the Tet Offensive (Bolt)

   

WEEK 8: LOCAL COURSE

At this point in the course, each professor determines readings for your class, based on the local course requirements.

Mon Oct 18: Further Discussion of My Lai

Wed Oct 20 -- Visiting Speaker: Tayloe Wise

1. Wise, "August - LZ Becky's Death" (Library Reserve)

 

WEEK 9: Nixon's Wars

Mon Oct 25: The war at home: The antiwar movement (Bolt)

1. Hassell, "Christman" and "untitled" (O'Nan 576, 578)

2. Rabe, from Sticks and Stones (O'Nan 351-364)

3. Herring 186-192

4. DeBenedetti and Chatfield, from An American Ordeal (Library Reserve)

5. Moser, from New Winter Soldiers (Library Reserve)

 

Wed Oct 27: Nixon's War through Cambodia (Lairson)

1. Webb, from Fields of Fire (O'Nan 130-149)

2. Herring 243-283

3. Edelman, ed., from Dear America (O'Nan 351-364)

 

WEEK 10: Americans Leave the War

Mon Nov 1: The Peace Accords (1973) and Release of POWs (Bolt)

1. Herring 243-283

2. Duiker 219-244

 

Wed Nov 3: End of the war (1975) (Lairson)

1. Herring 285-321

2. Duiker 244-250

 

WEEK 11: Literature and Film on Fighting the War - Part Two

Mon Nov 8: Literature, women and film (Hendricks and Alexander)

Wed Nov 10: The Veteran Experience (Hendricks and Alexander)

1. Herr, from Dispatches (O'Nan 200-233)

2. Weigl, selected poems (O'Nan 579-592)

3. Auger, in A Piece of my Heart (O'Nan 338-350)

4. CNN story on 1999 Women's Vets' Convention

 

WEEK 12: LOCAL COURSE

At this point in the course, each professor determines readings for your class, based on the local course topics:

Richmond: Cambodia and the Vietnam Wars

Rollins: Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia; US/USSR/China

Centenary: Vietnamese refugee culture in America

Mon Nov 15

Wed Nov 17: Second film/documentary review due

 

WEEK 13: Postwar Vietnam: Doi Moi and Normalization

Mon Nov 22: Doi Moi and Normalization (1981 to the present) (Lairson)

1. SarDesai 93-119; 161-178

2. Ehrhart, "The Invasion of Grenada" (O'Nan 679)

3. O'Brien, "Speaking of Courage" and "Notes" (O'Nan 593-611)

 

Wed Nov 24: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Break)

 

WEEK 14: Memorials and Remembering

Mon Nov 29: Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War - Review Paper Due

Wed Dec 1: Discussion of Bao Ninh's Novel

 

Mon Dec 6 -- Local Course Day: Retrospective on the Course and Final Exam Preparation

Fri Dec 10 Final Exam 7-10 p.m.

 

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