Advertisement

Performing Survival, Ancestral Inheritance, and the Spirit of Optimism

  • Rivka Syd Eisner
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)

Abstract

Throughout the book, personal and collective recollections of torture are entwined with the veterans’ ethics of spectral, prospective remembering. In Chap.  2, the performance group’s president and founder, cô Nhựt, discusses memories of performing patriotic solidarity in prison and describes what she calls the Vietnamese “tradition of optimism.” For cô Nhựt, optimism is a traditional feature and a national practice; it is something already there but yet must also always be performed. The chapter engages the creative powers of performing rebellion under conditions of imprisonment and torture, the veterans’ narrative-practice of locating themselves within the national lineage of patriotic warrior heroines, proper gender practice during wartime, and ways in which an “inheritance of memory” is pressed upon Hương—Eisner’s research collaborator, translator, and friend—as a stand-in for other postwar women.

References

  1. Bhabha, Homi K. 1990. “Introduction: Narrating the Nation.” In Nation and Narration. Edited by Homi K. Bhabha, 1–7. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Bhabha, Homi K. 2004. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Chagnon, Jacqui, and Don Luce. 1974. “Poems from Prison.” In Of Quiet Courage: Poems from Viet Nam. Edited by Jacqui Chagnon and Don Luce, 121–123. Washington: Indochina Mobile Education Project.Google Scholar
  5. de Certeau, Michel. 1988. The Practice of Everyday Life. Translated by Steven F. Rendall. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Derrida, Jacques. 1994. Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International. Translated by Peggy Kamuf. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Diamond, Elin. 1996. “Introduction.” In Performance and Cultural Politics. Edited by Elin Diamond, 1–12. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Duiker, William J. 1996. The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam. 2nd edition. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  9. Duiker, William J. 2000. Ho Chi Minh: A Life. New York: Theia.Google Scholar
  10. Duong, Wendy N. 2001. “Gender Equality and Women’s Issues in Vietnam: The Vietnamese Woman—Warrior and Poet.” Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal 10.2: 191–326.Google Scholar
  11. Eisner, Rivka Syd. 2011. “Performing Prospective Memory.” Cultural Studies 25.6: 892–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Giebel, Christoph. 2001. “Museum-Shrine: Revolution and Its Tutelary Spirit in the Village of My Hoa Hung.” In The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam. Edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai, 77–105. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  13. Gordon, Avery F. 2004. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kwon, Heonik. 2008. Ghosts of War in Vietnam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lessard, Micheline. 2010. “More than Half the Sky: Vietnamese Women and Anti-French Political Activism, 1858–1945.” In Vietnam and the West: New Approaches Edited by Wynn Wilcox, 91–105. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Luce, Don. n.d. “The Tiger Cages of Viet Nam.” Historians Against the War. Accessed 16 June, 2017. https://www.historiansagainstwar.org/resources/torture/luce.html.
  17. Madison, D. Soyini. 2005. Critical Ethnography: Method, Ethics, and Performance. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Madison, D. Soyini. 2010. Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Malarney, Shaun Kingsley. 2001. “‘The Fatherland Remembers Your Sacrifice’: Commemorating War Dead in North Vietnam.” In The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam. Edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai, 46–76. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mangold, Tom, and John Penycate. 1986. The Tunnels of Cu Chi. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  21. Marr, David G. 1981. Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920–1945. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Myerhoff, Barbara. 1980. Number Our Days. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  23. Nguyễn thị Định. 1976. No Other Road to Take: Memoir of Ms. Nguyễn Thị Định. Translated by Mai Elliott. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications.Google Scholar
  24. Oliver, Kelly. 2001. Witnessing: Beyond Recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  25. Pelley, Patricia M. 2002. Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Pettus, Ashley. 2003. Between Sacrifice and Desire: National Identity and the Governing of Femininity in Vietnam. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Phelan, Peggy. 1998. Unmarked: The Politics of Performance. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Pollock, Della. 1998. “Introduction: Making History Go.” In Exceptional Spaces: Essays in Performance and History. Edited by Della Pollock, 1–45. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  29. Pollock, Della. 1999. Telling Bodies Performing Birth. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Pollock, Della. 2005. “Introduction: Remembering.” In Remembering: Oral History Performance Edited by Della Pollock, 1–18. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Quinn-Judge, Sophie. 2001. “Women in the Early Vietnamese Communist Movement: Sex, Lies, and Liberation.” South East Asia Research 9.3: 245–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rydström, Helle. 2016. “Vietnam Women’s Union and the Politics of Representation: Hegemonic Solidarity and a Heterosexual Family Regime.” In Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation. Edited by Hilde Danielsen, Kari Jegerstedt, Ragnhild L. Muriaas, and Brita Ytre-Arne, 209–234. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schneider, Rebecca. 2011. Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Shildrick, Margrit. 2002. Embodying the Monster: Encounters with the Vulnerable Self. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  35. Tai, Hue-Tam Ho. 1992. Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Tai, Hue-Tam Ho. 2001a. “Introduction: Situating Memory.” In The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam. Edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai, 1–17. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  37. Tai, Hue-Tam Ho. 2001b. “Faces of Remembrance and Forgetting.” In The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam. Edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai, 167–195. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  38. Taylor, Diana. 2003. The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Taylor, Keith Weller. 1998. “Surface Orientations in Vietnam: Beyond Histories of Nation and Region.” Journal of Asian Studies 57.4: 949–978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Taylor, Philip. 2004. Goddess on the Rise: Pilgrimage and Popular Religion in Vietnam. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
  41. Taylor, Sandra C. 1999. Vietnamese Women at War: Fighting for Ho Chi Minh and the Revolution, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  42. Taylor, Sandra C. 2007. “The Long-Haired Warriors: Women and Revolution in Vietnam.” In The War That Never Ends: New Perspectives on the Vietnam War. Ed. David L. Anderson and John Ernst, 167–190. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  43. Trinh, Minh-ha T. 1989. Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Turner, Karen Gottschang. 1998. Even the Women Must Fight: Memoirs of War from North Vietnam. With Phan Thanh Hao. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  45. Zinoman, Peter. 2001a. The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862–1940. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zinoman, Peter. 2001b. “Reading Revolutionary Prison Memoirs.” In The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam. Edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai, 21–45. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rivka Syd Eisner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations