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'Engaging With Vietnam' Conference Ruminates on Heritage in Huế

“Living with Heritage, (Re)Creating Heritage: Vietnam and the World” is the title of the 14th Engaging with Vietnam conference, a series of activities including academic panel discussions, keynote talks, art installations, music and fashion performances, workshops, curated visits to heritage sites and more.

Every iteration of the Engaging with Vietnam annual conference is focused around a central theme with the broader goal to “promote the production of cutting-edge scholarship about, or in dialogue with, ‘Vietnam’ in all of its forms, from Vietnam as a place to Vietnam as an idea,” according to the conference website.

Regarding this year’s topic of Heritage, the conference notes: “Heritage is an essential part of our identity, history, and culture. It shapes our communities, influences our daily lives, and inspires our future. However, heritage is not static. It evolves, adapts, and responds to the changing social, economic, and political contexts.”

Following the first Engaging with Vietnam held in Melbourne in 2010, the conference has taken place in Hanoi, Saigon, Honolulu, Tokyo and elsewhere. This year, events and panels will take be held around the city of Huế including at the historic Quốc Học High School, An Định Palace (Cung An Định), and the University of Arts – Hue University. 

The conference program is staggering in its length and breadth. A few items that caught Saigoneer’s eyes include the keynote topic, “Heritage Tourism and Museum Diplomacy; presentation topics: “Thai Duong Ha Village’s Fish Praying Festival on the Path of Heritage,” “K-Pop Fans in Vietnam: Practices, Meanings, and Beyond,” “The Rise of Nostalgia: The Return of Nhạc Vàng (Golden Melodies) in the Food and Beverage Industry in Vietnam,” “Snake Worship as Cultural Sediments in Vietnam’s Multi-Ethnic Cultural Heritage,” and “The Role of Digital Technology from the Perspective of Gen Z Travel Experiences” and a performance of hầu đồng by spirit mediums and artists from the three regions of Vietnam. Saigoneer Content Director Paul Christiansen, will co-host a poetry night. 

The conference is open to everyone with registration running through July 31. The cost for participants is VND500,000, though Vietnamese and foreign undergraduate students at domestic and international universities and colleges can attend for free. Find more information and register here

Engaging with Vietnam was founded by Phan Lê Hà (Universiti Brunei Darussalam & University College London) and Liam C. Kelley (Universiti Brunei Darussalam). It is organized in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Sports under Thừa Thiên-Huế People’s Committee, the University of Arts – Hue University, the International School – Hue University, and with the assistance of The Lighthouse Hai Dang Studio & Events, ACCESS design lab, HITO Entertainment and other international and domestic organizations.

[Top image designed by HITO Entertainment via Engaging with Vietnam]

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