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CSEAS Lecture Series. Reincarnation and Recursivity as Politics of Atmosphere

Ben Tran, Vanderbilt University
Friday, March 31, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
110 Weiser Hall Map
This paper examines how the artwork of Tuan Andrew Nguyen registers and counters atmospheric violence of chemical and militaristic warfare. Nguyen probes and unearths how aerial bombings continue to affect and harm communities. Although the artist views atmospheric violence and its aftermath as legacies of colonialism, the paper argues, his persistence with the topics of immolation and reincarnation moves us beyond accepted frameworks and paradigms in colonial studies, such as the self-other relationship, towards the possibilities of contingency from recursivity and of empathy and compassion. Nguyen’s art transfigures the medium of atmosphere to address the physical and mental traumas caused by atmospheric violence.

Speaker Bio
Ben Tran is an associate professor of Asian studies and English at Vanderbilt University. His research examines the politics and aesthetics of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Southeast Asian, Asian American, and Anglophone literatures. As the repercussions of colonialism and decolonization, modern warfare, climate change, and globalization continue to unfold in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, he examines how literary and cultural works depict and resist modernity’s vertiginous transformations.

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If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: center of southeast asia studies, Cseas Lecture Series, Discussion, Lecture, Southeast Asia
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Southeast Asian Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures