Discourse on Vietnam in online format

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The survey is a brief summary of the work of the 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars - ICAS-12, the greatest world forum of scholars-orientalists of 2021, held from August 24 to 28 in online format in Kyoto (Japan). The survey focuses on the 12th international conference with the theme “Engaging with Vietnam and ASEAN: Mobilities and Identities in an Age of Global Transformation” held at the “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue - EWV” platform, the independent part of the Convention. The survey covers the topics of the papers of the EWV participants and other events in the frameworks of the sessions of the Convention.

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The 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS-12) was held from August 24 to 28, 2021. This Convention is held every two years under the auspices of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden (Netherlands). This year the meeting entitled “Crafting a Global Future” has been organized jointly with Kyoto Seika University (Japan). Participants were scholars from 65 countries of the world. ICAS-12 invited to its sessions more than a thousand orientalists and discussed the widest range of topics from politics, religious studies, philosophy of international relations, history and economics, linguistics, and literary criticism to researches of art, media, gender studies, problems of historical memory, urbanization and education. ICAS-12 Kyoto comprised panel discussions and round tables, as well as crafts exhibitions, screening of films on Asia and ICAS Asian Studies book-display sale. This Convention was held in online-format. The authors were to prepare video of their reports with the declared theme in advance, the length of reports being limited up to 10 or 15 minutes. Everybody could review the reports from August 10 at the site ICAS 12 Kyoto. At the panel sessions of the Convention (one hour, live) every author gave a summary of her/his presentation (from 3 to 5 minutes) followed with the free discussion. By the commencement of ICAS-12 Kyoto the summing up of ICAS Book Prize 2021 the competition for the best book in the field of Asian studies had been timed. This year books in nine languages have participated in the competition, including those in Russian (for the first time). The monograph “ASEAN in the Current World” (Moscow: Forum, 2019) by G.M. Lokshin, E.V. Kobelev and V.M. Mazyrin (Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies, Institute for Far Eastern Studies RAS) has been one of the four best Russian books. From July 24 to 28 in the frameworks of ICAS-12 at the “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” (EWV) platform the 12th conference with the theme “Engaging with Vietnam and ASEAN: Mobilities and Identities in an Age of Global Transformation” was held. Researchers from leading universities and academic institutions of the SRV participated in it side by side with scholars from Europe, the US and SEA countries. The conference opened with the report on problems of maternity in a digital age. It was followed by the panel session on recent history of Vietnam: identity and postcolonial tension in DRV from 1946 to 1962, political strategies and ideals of South Vietnamese liberation movement (1969-1975), memoires and biographies of revolutionaries from Central Vietnam (the 1880s-1940s), elements of preparing for the reunification in South Vietnam from 1970 to 1975. Another panel session concentrated on problems of the language and identity of the Vietnamese abroad. Two sessions with the theme of religion discussed topics of Catholicism and Buddhism, Mothers’ cult and folk beliefs, dialogue and symbiosis of religions in Vietnam and the attitude of the state to matters of faith, ritual practices and reflection of religion in art. Economic topics covered the prospects of economic development of Vietnam, comparative analysis of economic structures of the Philippines and Vietnam and the processes of deglobalization. The educational system improvement is of great importance for the further development of Vietnam. It was not coincidental that four panel sessions were devoted to different educational problems. One of them discussed international education in Vietnam and ASEAN. The authors spoke on how academic exchanges between the US and Vietnam influenced the higher education reform in Vietnam, on the role of the partnership of schools and universities in training language teachers in Vietnam, as well as on the influence of multiculturalism on the Vietnamese students’ identity. Two other sessions with the same theme touched problems of the high education development in conditions of COVID-19, professional retraining of teachers, propaganda of national culture among children, education of children with disabilities in Vietnam, problems of teaching languages and special training technologies in school, as well as problems of the employment of graduates from universities of foreign studies. The themes of the rest panel sessions and round tables were diverse, too: from the Mekong Delta development to Vietnamese labor migration to Europe after 2000, from politics, diplomacy and legal problems in Vietnam and ASEAN to different aspects of Vietnam’s history of the 19th-early 20th centuries, from peculiarities of war perception with current generations to the revival of Vietnamese culture in the 21st century, from cosmopolitanism display in Vietnam to problems of migration and identity in Vietnam and ASEAN, from communism and nationalism in history of Vietnam to COVID-19 pandemic and problems of ensuring human security in ASE, from problems of population’s health to urban milieu and tourism in Vietnam in conditions of COVID-19 and climate changes. Speeches and discussions at the EWV conference showed a broad canvas of current Vietnamese studies, covering all the aspects of Vietnam’s life. ICAS-12 has passed the torch to ICAS- 13. It will be held in 2023. We are looking forward to it in expectation that orientalists of the world will be able to meet and discuss their studies and discoveries not through monitors of computers or through smartphones, but face-to-face.
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About the authors

E. V Nikulina

IFES RAS

Email: elenavtn@mail.ru
Researcher, Center for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies

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Copyright (c) 2021 Nikulina E.V.

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