From Cambridge to Vietnam: Teaching and learning Anthropology in today’s global world
AbstractAs part of the regular series of seminars organized by Faculty of Anthropology, on April 12th, 2016, Prof. Susan Bayly from Cambridge University (United Kingdom) delivered a speech entitled “From Cambridge to Vietnam: Teaching and learning Anthropology in today’s global world”. In the first part of her presentation, Prof. Susan Bayly shared her experiences in teaching and researching Anthropology at Cambridge University; the shifting approaches to Anthropology in the world, from emphasizing macro issues such as social structures or systems to focusing on human’s experiences, the voice of the researched community, and the close ties between field research and theory as they are two indispensable parts of Anthropological studies. In the next part, Prof. Susan Bayly shared her personal experiences after more than 15 years working in Vietnam, especially her interest in a range of interesting topics in contemporary Vietnam, such as the experiences of intellectual families in Hanoi since the August revolution and the social conception of “achievement” in Vietnam nowadays. Prof Bayly especially highlighted the importance of the life-long cooperation between her and the Faculty of Anthropology at Cambridge University and the USSH’s Division of Ethnology back then and Faculty of Anthropology today. In her opinion, although the two countries’ traditions of Anthropology somewhat differ in their approaches, they share a common theme, which is the belief in Anthropology as a distinct discipline that is particularly relevant to human’s experiences and the ways human adapts to an ever-changing world, which are always viewed with a sympathetic, respectful and understanding sentiment.In the Q&amp;A session, Prof. Susan Bayly openly shared her opinions with the scholars and students that were listening on various issues such as the role of anthropologists in devising policies and advising their governments, the correlations between Ethnology and Anthropology, the various schools in Anthropology and the relationship between social and cultural Anthropologies, and other relevant issues concerning global and Vietnamese Anthropology today. Prof Susan Bayly is a Professor of Historical Anthropology, Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the PhD Committee for the Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her research interests include the South Asian caste system. Her selected published works include: How to Forge a Creative Student-Citizen: Achieving the Positive in Today’s Vietnam Modern Asian Studies 48, no. 3: 493-523 (2014); ‘Mapping Time, Living Space: The Moral Cartography of Renovation in Late-Socialist Vietnam’, Cambridge Anthropology 31:2, pp. 60-84 (2013); ‘For Family, State and Nation: Achieving Cosmopolitan Modernity in Late-Socialist Vietnam’, in N. Long and Henrietta Moore, eds. The Social Life of Achievement: Berghahn (2013); Anthologised versions of my ‘French anthropology and the Durkheimians in colonial Indochina’, Modern Asian Studies 34,3 July 2000, in a volume on French colonialism from Nebraska University Press, and in Engaging Colonial Knowledge (Palgrave), eds. R. Roque and K. Wagner (2012); ‘From History to Anthropology: Reflections on Caste from South India &amp; Vietnam’, in D.S. Babu &amp; R. S. Khare, eds., Caste in Life: Experiencing Inequalities (New Delhi: Pearson) (2010); ‘Hanoi intellectuals as contributors to the cultural life of the Vietnamese Revolution’, in Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference of Vietnamese Studies 2008, Hanoi. (in Vietnamese) (2010); Asian Voices in a Post-Colonial Age: Vietnam, India and Beyond. Cambridge University Press (2007); Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. The New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge University Press (2001); Saints, Goddesses and Kings: Muslims and Christians in South Indian Society, 1700-1900. Cambridge University Press (1989).