Translating the Vietnam War: Cultural Networks between China and Vietnam (1964-1966)
This thesis will focus on the circulation of cultural products between China and Vietnam in the middle 1960s. By examining Vietnam’s literary works and their Chinese adaptations, this study intends to explore three major questions: First, how was transnational imagination cultivated by adapting, translating, and viewing cultural products from other nations? Second, how does domestic politics interact with cultural importation to shape people’s transnational imagination? Furthermore, how do socialist regimes, such as China and Vietnam, reconcile the conceptual entanglement between transnational proletarian identification and national emotion in their cultural practice? By answering this question, the study will not only situate Chinese cultural production during the Cold War era in a transnational network but also aim at contributing to translation studies. The study will show how cultural translation helps to construct a socialist internationalist imagination. The thesis uses three sections to scrutinize the formation and implication of the cultural networks between China and Vietnam in the mid of 1960s. The first section will briefly analyze how Hanoi’s Foreign Languages Publishing House addressed Chinese audiences through the practice of translation, and how cultural importation from North Vietnam affected Chinese audiences in the middle 1960s. The second section will examine how socialist community was constructed between China and Vietnam through analyzing how Chinese artists and writers adapted the Vietnamese patriotic story, Live as He Lived. By adapting Nguyễn Văn Trỗi’s story into a comic book, stage drama, and local opera, Chinese intellectuals transformed the Vietnamese patriotic figure into a socialist hero. Moreover, this translated socialist character was also accepted and acknowledged by North Vietnam, functioning as an ideological tool to encourage Vietnam’s young people to participate in socialist construction. The third section will explore the role of anti-revisionist ideology in directing the cultural translations and adaptations between China and Vietnam. I will argue that the anti-revisionist ideology against the Soviet Union drew a border within the socialist bloc, and thereby consolidated the transnational identification between China and Vietnam.
Asian history; nationalism; Translation; Southeast Asian studies; Socialism; Transnational Imagination; Vietnam War; Asian literature; Cold War
Taylor, Keith Weller
M.A., Asian Studies
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis