After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years

Spring 2017 Exhibit Opening


UCI Libraries Spring 2017 Exhibit Opening
After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

6:30 – 7:30 PM – Program
Holden Room, Langson LibraryUCI Libraries

  • Keynote presentation by
    Cathy Schlund-Vials, Ph.D., Professor of English
    and Asian American Studies, University of Connecticut
  • Followed by a performance from
    praCh, Cambodian-American Musician

7:30 – 8:30 PM – Exhibit Viewing and Reception
Langson Library and the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center, UCI Libraries

Hors d’oeuvres and Hosted Bar. Free and open to the public. Limited seating.

Sponsored by the Partners of the UCI Libraries, UCI Illuminations and the Sawyer Seminars Documenting War. 

This year, the UCI Libraries is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Southeast Asian Archive through a spring quarter exhibit, After-Lives of War: the Southeast Asian Archive over 30 years. The exhibit explores the genres, rhetoric, and real effects of wartime documentation and postwar reflection, as carried out by journalists, soldiers, civilians, and artists in verbal, visual, and mixed media forms.

The Southeast Asian Archive (SEAA) was established in 1987 to document the experiences of refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (the countries constituting the former Indochina) who resettled in the United States after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The SEAA collects, preserves, and provides access to materials related to refugees and immigrants who left their homes as boat people and land refugees, their resettlement in the United States (and to a lesser extent, worldwide), the development and growth of Southeast Asian American communities, and (to a lesser degree) the culture and history of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. A special emphasis is placed on Southeast Asian Americans in Orange County (home to UC Irvine) and the rest of California. The largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam, known as Little Saigon, has developed just ten miles north of the UCI campus, and the largest Cambodian community outside of Cambodia, known as Cambodia Town, is in Long Beach, about 20 miles up the coast. The largest concentration of Hmong community can be found in the California Central Valley and the largest population of Laotians are in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The 30th anniversary has been celebrated throughout this academic year in partnership with the Department of Asian American Studies’ “Homescapes/Warscapes 25/30” program, as the department has also reached a significant milestone of 25 years. The celebration will culminate in an exhibit titled “After-Lives of War: the Southeast Asian Archive over 30 years,” co-curated by Dr. Thuy Vo Dang, archivist for the SEAA, and Professor of Art History, Dr. Cécile Whiting. Thuy and Cécile have collaborated on integrating Art History undergraduate students into the planning of this exhibit, which will highlight a new collection of refugee artwork from Hong Kong. Their collaboration was sparked by Professor Whiting’s role in co-convening the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Documenting War during the 2016-17 academic year with Professor Carol Burke. 

After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years will be on display through October 2017 in the Langson Library Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery and OC&SEAA Center during regular library hours.

Exhibit Curators: Cecile Whiting, Ph.D. and Thuy Vo Dang, Ph.D.  
Exhibit Designers: Jennifer Betonio, Allan Helmick, and Sylvia Irving


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