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Vietnam Legacies Project

The Vietnam Legacies Project uses a transitional justice framework, which addresses how societies come to terms with the legacy of large-scale human rights violations using “judicial and non-judicial processes and mechanisms”. It asks whether enough has been done to come to terms with the legacy of the war within the United States, and considers its impact on Viet Nam.
Online Conference

Vietnam Legacies Symposium

This fall, the Human Rights Center hosts its virtual symposium on the legacies of the Vietnam War. Panelists will consider topics including unexploded ordnance, health effects of Agent Orange, US veterans' activism, and memorialization. Other themes include militarism, African American soldiers' experience, and the enduring need for transitional justice. 
Event Details

Oct. 22-23, 2020

Agenda includes speaker panels & policy discussions.

Featured Speakers

Cynthia Enloe, Andrew Bacevich, Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, and Chuck Searcy

Session 1 | Thursday, October 22, 1:00-4:45pm EDT | Moderator: William Trollinger


This panel focuses on the complex identities that emerged as a legacy of the Vietnam War. Participants include: Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, an expert on race relations within the US military during the Vietnam War; Allison Varzally, author of Children of Reunion; and Đạt Duthịnh, a Vietnamese-born war refugee who has lived in the US since the mid-1960s and engages in peace advocacy with the Friends Committee on National Legislation.


This panel assesses anti-militarism advocacy and the links between right-wing movements and militarism in contemporary America. Participants include: Andrew Bacevich, author of The Age of Illusions; Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link; Scott Laderman, author of The ‘Silent Majority’ Speech: Nixon, Vietnam, and the Rise of the New Right; and David Cortright, co-author of Waging Peace in Vietnam.


Join HRC staff and symposium participants for a breakout conversation about war legacy issues and advocacy.

Session 2 | Friday, October 23, 9:00-11:30am EDT | Moderator: Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders


This panel focuses on efforts to rebuild war-torn landscapes in Viet Nam, highlighting the role of transnational organizations in supporting postwar rebuilding and reconciliation. Participants include: Chuck Searcy and Dang Quang Toan from Project RENEW; John Goines III from the DPAA Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; and Mike Boehm from Madison Quakers, Inc. 


This panel focuses on legal accountability as a key mechanism of post-war transitional justice. Participants include: Colleen Murphy, author of The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice; Patrick Hagopian, author of American Immunity: War Crimes and the Limits of International Law; Katherine Gallagher of the Center for Constitutional Rights; and David Kieran, author of Forever Vietnam: How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory.

Session 3 | Friday, October 23, 1:00-4:15pm EDT | Moderator: Tony Talbott


This panel focuses on the post-conflict work of veterans and children of veterans, and considers how veterans’ advocacy for reparation and healing contributes to forging peace. Participants include: Ben Schrader, author of Fight to Live, Live to Fight and University of Dayton affiliate; Garett Reppenhagen, Executive Director of Veterans for Peace; Heather Bowser, President of the Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance (COVVHA); and Susan Hammond of the War Legacies Project.


This panel considers how literature, visual media, and memorials have helped shape the memory of war in America and Viet Nam. Panelists include: Yến Lê Espiritu, author of Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refugees; Thomas Grace, author of Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties; Paul Morrow, Human Rights Fellow at the University of Dayton and author of Unconscionable Crimes: How Norms Explain and Constrain Mass Atrocities; and Bich-Ngoc Turner, lecturer in Vietnamese language and literature at the University of Washington. 


Join HRC staff and symposium participants for a concluding conversation about war legacy issues and advocacy. Featuring Tim Rieser, Senior Foreign Policy Aide to Senator Patrick Leahy, and John Meagher, UD '63. 

Welcome All to the Symposium

  • President Eric Spina
  • U.S. Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc
  • Welcome message from University of Dayton President Eric Spina

    Welcome message from U.S. Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc

    Human Rights 09.07.20
    Uncovering a Legacy: A Reflection on the History of Peace at UD

    The Vietnam Legacies Project explores the impact of the war on UD’s campus. Here, HRC student intern Katie Schreyer shares highlights from her work on this project, including archival finds and interviews with Vietnam-era alumni.

    Read more
    Human Rights 06.03.20
    Looking Back to Move Forward

    Reflecting on the events of this past spring, it’s easy to see parallels with the social concerns that occupied Americans fifty years ago. Dr. Paul Morrow outlines these parallels, bringing to light the racial divisions of the Vietnam era that are still felt today.

    Read more
    Human Rights 12.05.19
    Visiting the Traumatic Legacies of War

    Ben Schrader, project researcher for the Vietnam Legacies Project, reflects on his recent visit to Viet Nam and humanitarian activism and advocacy related to impacts of the Vietnam War.

    Read more

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