Experiments in Skin: “Resting” History, Intimate Labor, and the Chemical Afterlife of Vietnam
Date
Start Date : February 3, 5:00 pm End Date : February 2, 6:30 pm
Time

Location

411 Fayerweather


Environmental historians have characterized the Vietnam War as a “chemical war,” fought with chemically-saturated explosives and incendiaries, tear gas and firebombs, herbicides and insecticides. Despite decades of scientific research, legal challenges, and political organizing, the consequences of this broad chemical exposure remain shrouded in a politics of uncertainty. This talk offers an account of how Vietnam’s chemical war was recorded on the body’s surface, and how Vietnamese women living with fears of on-going contamination come to labor with war’s toxic “afterlife.” Drawn from research at a spa in Saigon, Thuy Linh Tu considers how women speculate about historical conditions that “rest” (nằm nghĩ) in their bodies, and seek remediation for ailments that appear on their skin, in the absence of medical certainty about what ails them, and without expectations for a “clean” environmental future.
CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center also offers a wide range of public programming, including Artist at the Center, Indigenous Forum, and Latino Public Speaker Series and the Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series. CSER's most recent spaces include the Media and Idea Lab and Gallery at the Center, a space dedicated to curating artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest.
Follow Us :        
Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
 420 Hamilton Hall, MC 2880
1130 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

  212-854-0507

212-854-0500