Events Calendar

Hieu Phung: Global Asias Initiative

Friday, November 04, 2022, 11:00am - 12:30pm


Global Asias Initiative presents

“A Talk by Dr. Hieu Phung: Experiencing Mega-drought in Eighteenth-Century Đại Việt (Vietnam)”

Friday, November 4, 2022
11:00a - 12:30p

RCHA Seminar Room, Room 6051
Academic Building West

Discussants include Jack Bouchard, Elaine LaFay, Katie Sinclair, and Archisman Chaudhuri

Crossing dendrochronological reconstruction with historical records has become one of the most important methods to acquire new understandings of the past climate patterns. This paper demonstrates that Vietnamese written records are in accord with dendrochronological reconstruction of the megadrought episodes in the mid- and late eighteenth century in mainland Southeast Asia as established by the works of climate scientist Brendan Buckley and colleagues. But more than the sheer statistics one extracts from historical records is a story of how contemporaries experienced the shifting condition of the climate. Vietnamese authorities were perplexed not only by the chronically aberrant incidents in nature but also by their seemingly unremitting failures to respond to them. It is their way of perceiving and approaching to the natural anomalies that played the central role in constructing the contemporary sociopolitical atmosphere. Analyzing their “cultures of disaster,” to borrow Greg Bankoff’s words, reveals how the difficult conditions of weather acted as an agent that triggered great anxiety among contemporaries.



Flyer: Phung_Hieu_Global_Asias_Initiative_November_4_2022.pdf