From modest beginnings in the 1950s and 1960s, Vietnamese studies experienced a slow but consistent rise in Germany. In the GDR, the rise was connected first with close relations between the two communist states. Second, the area studies’ concept favored Vietnamese studies as a subject of Southeast Asian studies, rather than as a side subject of sinology as it had been before. In both parts of Germany, the interest in Vietnam has grown, especially after its reunification in 1975. Since 1990, at least one place is continuing to teach the subject in the framework of the Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures Program. In this way, one of the two professorships could be preserved.
Vietnamese Studies in Germany: An Institutional History
Thomas Engelbert received his PhD in Vietnamese studies in 1990 and a second doctorate (Habilitation) in Southeast Asian history in 2000 from Humboldt University, Berlin. Since 2002, he has worked as Professor of Vietnamese Language and Culture in the Department of Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures at the Asia-Africa Institute, University of Hamburg. His research focuses on Vietnamese and Southeast Asian history, especially Việt folklore and relations between ethnic minority and majority groups. He would like to take this opportunity to thank all members, sponsors, and helpers of the HGV for their efforts.
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Thomas Engelbert; Vietnamese Studies in Germany: An Institutional History. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 1 February 2021; 16 (1): 132–157. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2021.16.1.132
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