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Lecture: Viet Nam and the Dong World: Overlapping Sino-Vietnamese Alliances along the Southwest Silk Road (960-1279)

October 28, 2015 @ 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

This lecture is presented by Jamie Anderson, Associate Professor of History at UNC-Greensboro.

The “Dong World,” as John Whitmore and I suggested in our recent edited volume, consists of numerous mountain valley communities (C. dong 洞, V. dộng) which operated autonomously and competed with each other as they increasingly dealt with the lowland worlds around them.  The Dong World at times throughout its history formed a barricade between northern Việt Nam and China.  While the Chinese Tang (618-907) dynasty worked actively in the Dong World, the first century of the Song dynasty saw a retrenchment and defensive stance in these areas. In the meantime, dộng chieftains on important trade routes gained economic and political strength with the surge of the Song economic development.  At the same time the Vietnamese Lý court focused on political consolidation of the northern periphery of the kingdom, which entailed coming into closer contact with peoples residing in the frontier areas. In the last third of the eleventh century, the Song sought to push out along this frontier, leading to collisions with the Đại Việt and with Tibet in the 1070s.  From the other side of the Dong World, through marriage alliances, the patronage of individual dộng chieftains, and the occasional military expedition, the Lý, and later the Trần, courts pulled the upland communities of the region into service to the state through tribute, labor, and militia recruitment.

Dr. Anderson (Ph.D., University of Washington) is an Associate Professor and Head of the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  An historian of premodern China and Vietnam, Anderson’s first book is The Rebel Den of Nùng Trí Cao: Loyalty and Identity Along the Sino-Vietnamese Frontier (University of Washington Press, 2007). He is the co-editor, with Nola Cooke and Li Tana, of The Tongking Gulf Through History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) and co-editor with John Whitmore of China’s Encounters on the South and Southwest: Reforging the Fiery Frontier Over Two Millennia (Leiden: Brill, 2015).


October 28, 2015
3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
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