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Southeast Asian Diaspora Studies

The UCI Libraries' Southeast Asian Archive is the richest collection of books, reports, manuscripts, archival materials, photos, artwork, and ephemera documenting the peoples of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia outside their homelands.

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Researchers have come to the SEAA to work on these topics

Researchers and visitors from near (such as CSU Fullerton and Chapman University) and far (Montreal and Vancouver, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan) have come in person to make good use of the Southeast Asian Archives' collections on the Langson Library 3rd and 5th floors.  Some have traveled from the U.S. midwest and east coast, too, to spend several days here.   UCI faculty and students also use the collections. 

The Southeast Asian Archive's collections and expert reference services are open to everyone--undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, community members, policy makers, writers, teachers, high school students, and the general public.  More details about using the SEAA collections.

Research topics have included:

  • Vietnamese community in France
  • "Paris by Night" and other ways in which Vietnamese Americans preserve their nostalgic memories of the country they left behind
  • Hmong experiences in refugee camps
  • Cambodian donut shops (in America)
  • Vietnamese community formation in Texas
  • The impact of immigrant/refugee parents who are independent business people or entrepreneurs on the development of their children, especially in Vietnamese-American and Chinese/Vietnamese-American familites
  • Little Saigon as a socio-architectural space
  • The Chinese/Sino-Vietnamese in Vancouver
  • Occupational choice and economic assimilation of Southeast Asian American refugees
  • Adoption of Vietnamese children and the experiences of the adoptees in a turbulent time that challenged American conceptions of race relations and foreign policy
  • Public Vietnamese American discourse on memory, especially to see if/how this has changed over the years, as reflected in community newspapers.
  • Southeast Asian American gangs in Orange County
  • The impact of refugee experiences (turmoil, leaving the home country, staying in camps, relocating to American) on childhood development
  • Hmong refugee resettlement and current events in California, the Air American airline (during the Vietnam War), General Vang Pao, and Laos-U.S. relations. 
  • Efforts among Vietnamese Americans to support human rights NGOs in Vietnam 
  • American fiction written by Vietnamese 1.5 generation (born in Vietnam but came to the U.S. at a young age)
  • What is the impact of attending political rallies and demonstrations in Little Saigon upon minors?  Does it affect their interest in and level of political participation when they are older?
  • Impact of the church affiliation of American NGOs' resettlement work with non-Christian refugees, especially the Hmong
  • Refugee camp paintings as expressions of trauma 
  • Academic aspirations of Laotian American students
  • The representation of the Vietnam War and/or its aftermath in public high school textbooks used in Orange County school districts