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Southeast Asian Archive Anne Frank Visiting Researcher Award Winner

Jane Le SkaifeJane Le Skaife, a doctoral student in Sociology at UC Davis, is the 2012-2013 recipient of the Southeast Asian Archive Anne Frank Visiting Researcher Award. Her proposal, "Transnational Tightrope: A Study of Vietnamese Refugees in France and the United States," was especially well developed and detailed. Since the mission of the Southeast Asian Archive (SEAA) is to document the experiences of the refugees and immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos (the former Indochina) in their new home countries, the SEAA collections are the strongest in the U.S. for her research. She is the fourth recipient of the $500 award, named after the founding librarian of the Archive and made possible by an anonymous donor to defray travel costs to UCI.

She asks, "How do Vietnamese migrants, as political refugees rather than economic immigrants, experience transnational ties? How has the construction of their identity outside of Vietnam as anti-communists shaped the transnational space in which they interact with their homeland? Finally, how have their transnational experiences influenced the fostering of cooperation or fomenting of conflict between their country of origin and their countries of settlement?"

Her archival research complemented the extensive interviews she conducted with Vietnamese refugees in Orange County, which she began in 2010 while interning for the Nguoi Viet Daily News, the oldest and most widely-read Vietnamese-language newspaper in the U.S. She also completed over 60 in-depth interviews in France during March/April 2011, where the Vietnamese-French community was established four generations ago. This was well before the Vietnam War ended in 1975, which triggered waves of refugees and—in Orange County—the beginnings of what is now the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam. Both diasporic communities are aware of each other, with members of some extended families living in each country, if not also in Vietnam.

Jane's research engages the grassroots and scholarly communities in new and intriguing ways. Her work will contribute new insights to the growing body of scholarship on refugees and their transnational ties.

For more information, contact Christina Woo, Research Librarian for the Southeast Asian Archive (x44974 or cjwoo@uci.edu).


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