Launch Event for Thy Phu’s New Book

Thanks to the Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies at the University of Toronto for inviting me to serve as a commentator for a launch event (this Wednesday!) to celebrate Thy Phu’s amazing new book, Warring Visions: Photography and Vietnam. Warring Visions is a brilliant counterpoint to what Phu describes as the “American framework” that otherwise shapes so much writing and thinking about the visual culture of the Vietnam War. Writing against this perspective, which crowds other views and voices out of the frame, Phu provides a richly faceted account that centers the ways that Vietnamese people represented themselves. In the process, Thy demonstrates the need to expand the conventional boundaries of the category of ‘war photography’ to include a range of other images: domestic, quotidian, misrecognized, retouched, missing, and fictionalized. This book is so good, and I’m truly looking forward to being in conversation about it.

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