About Dr. Ma Vang
Ma Vang is an Assistant Professor and founding chair of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Merced. Her book, History on the Run: Secrecy, Fugitivity, and Hmong Refugee Epistemologies (Duke University Press, 2021), examines how secrecy structures both official knowledge and refugee epistemologies about militarism and forced migration. She is the co-editor of Claiming Place: On the Agency of Hmong Women (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), and her writings have been published in positions: asia critique MELUS, and Critical Ethnic Studies Journal. Vang has received several awards to support her research, most recently, the UC Multicampus Research collaborative grant and the Whiting Foundation Public Engagement grant. She serves as co-editor of the Critical Refugee Studies Collective website which hosts the refugee archive and story map platforms for refugees to share stories. She is organizing the Refugee Teaching Institute in summer 2021 to engage with students and community members as teachers for K-12 ethnic studies curriculum training.
About the book: History on the Run: Secrecy, Fugitivity, and Hmong Refugee Epistemologies
During its secret war in Laos (1961–1975), the United States recruited proxy soldiers among the Hmong people. Following the war, many of these Hmong soldiers migrated to the United States with refugee status. In History on the Run Ma Vang examines the experiences of Hmong refugees in the United States to theorize refugee histories and secrecy, in particular those of the Hmong. Vang conceptualizes these histories as fugitive histories, as they move and are carried by people who move. Charting the incomplete archives of the war made secret through redacted US state documents, ethnography, film, and literature, Vang shows how Hmong refugees tell their stories in ways that exist separately from narratives of U.S. empire and that cannot be traditionally archived. In so doing, Vang outlines a methodology for writing histories that foreground refugee epistemologies despite systematic attempts to silence those histories.
Previous Virtual Dialogue Series
These Virtual Dialogue Series sessions that were held throughout the academic year were interactive and geared towards graduate students, post-docs, faculty, and staff. For those of you who missed any of the sessions or would like to rewatch them, we encourage you to watch our recorded sessions and select from a variety of lunch and learn sessions!