Representing Doi Moi: history, memory and shifting national narratives in late-socialist Vietnam

Graeme Were

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In late-socialist states, what are the drivers of shifts in national narratives and how can a focus on the museum method reveal the way state institutions construct national myths and nationalist ideologies? This paper addresses these questions by focusing on a behind-the-scenes ethnography of an exhibition celebrating 30 years of Doi Moi – the economic reform period in Vietnam that commenced in 1986. Focusing on the museum as method – the process of documenting how curators deliberate over labels, objects, photos and so forth – the paper analyses how national narratives are authored and transformed through curatorial exchanges and expert forums. By focusing on how aesthetics and achievement provide a foundation for inclusive interpretative strategies that integrate official histories alongside personal memories, this paper reflects on the alienating effects of official histories in state institutions and the strategies by which people appropriate these to reclaim their past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-686
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number6
Early online date15 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2017


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