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Currencies of Imagination: Channeling Money and Chasing Mobility in Vietnam

  • Kahin Center, Cornell University 640 Stewart Avenue Ithaca, NY, 14850 United States (map)

Ivan V. Small, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Central Connecticut State University

Remittances from the Vietnamese diaspora have played an important role in  Vietnam’s post Cold War economic development, providing important inputs to a range of  household spending areas, from education to health care. In the case of Vietnam, however, remittances are also caught up with memories and traumas of war, betrayal, separation and exodus. Conceptually examining remittances as money, but also gifts, this talk illustrates how Vietnam’s particular postwar refugee and remittance histories and channels exacerbate  inherent contradictions in the mobile flows of finance, people and goods across borders that define globalization. The observable qualitative correlation between remittance reception  and desires for out - migration contributes to affective migratory cultures in which the  consumption patterns afforded by remittances may be displaced into a variety of  unexpected areas, with unintended effects.

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Earlier Event: October 15
Melati Suryodarmo: Body as Container
Later Event: October 17
IF WE WERE XYZ (First Performance)