Final UW-W Fairhaven Lecture of the Season: “Displacement, Nostalgia, & Hmong Homeland Politics – Hidden Legacies of America’s Secret War in Laos” – April 5

Monday, April 5 at 3:00 pm
Displacement, Nostalgia, and Hmong Homeland Politics: Hidden Legacies of America’s Secret War in Laos
Nengher Vang, associate professor, History
Join us via WebEx: 
Photo: United States Department of State. No copyright infringement is intended.
After the Vietnam War, more than 100,000 Hmong have fled Laos to escape torture and persecution because of their role as America’s secret armies in its Cold War efforts in Laos from the early 1960s to 1975.   Today, the United States is home to 300,000 Hmong Americans, 56,000 of whom are in Wisconsin.  A conspicuous legacy, perhaps the most obvious, of the secret war in Laos is the resettlement of several hundred thousand Hmong, Lao, and other ethnic minorities as refugees to the United States after the Communist takeover in 1975.  This, however, is not the only legacy of this war.  In this talk, Dr. Vang will explore other hidden legacies of this war and show how, while most Hmong refugees have accepted America as their new home, many others, who have continued to feel displaced or alienated in America and to long for a return to the homeland, have continued to engage in homeland politics. Their homeland politics, in turn, has kept the fire of the secret war raging and led to a persistent but ultimately contradictory relationship between Hmong Americans and the U.S. government in the past five decades.    
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