The Newsletter 79 Spring 2018
Vietnam and Korea are rarely compared per se in scholarly work, whether in the field of social sciences or that of area studies. Yet, obvious convergences in their recent histories are apparent: both are Asian countries where the Cold War was indeed hot, tragic and deadly; and both nations were situated at the core of the big divide of the 20th century between capitalism and socialism — Korea still divided, Vietnam reunified in 1975. A conference hosted in March 2016 in Hanoi at the Vietnam National University, and co-organized by IIAS, Seoul National University and Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), pioneered new attempts to compare Vietnam and Korea, with their similar tributary and colonial positions, as longue durée subjects of history. This instalment of the Focus presents a selection of a few excellent papers presented at the conference.