Texas State offered its first faculty-led study abroad program in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos this year. The program began May 17th and ended June 1st. Seventeen students participated in the program, which offered courses on the history of Indochina and on U.S. involvement in the area.
Paul Hart and Leah Renold from the Department of History led the program. The program included on-campus lectures prior to and after a two-week study tour of major sites related to the history of Indochina. In the study of the ancient and medieval history of the area, students learned of the major empires and the historical influences of India and China upon the region, of the practice of Confucianism, Hinduism and Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, and of the relationship between these major religions and ancient monarchies of the area.
In their study of the modern period, students learned of the history of US involvement and strategic and economic interests in the area, the rise of the Viet Minh during WW II, and of the diverse perspectives on the Vietnam War, including that revealed in Last Night I Dreamed of Peace, the diary of Dang Thuy Tram, a young female Vietnamese doctor during the war. Highlights of the tour included the Vietnam War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the well-preserved ancient maritime silk route port of Hoian, and the sites of the ancient capitals of the Khmer Empire, including Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom in Cambodia.