SURF

Jude Paul Dizon

Let survive the Khmer People: Khmer Transnational Activism and Survial in the Diaspora

The majority of studies on Khmer refugees in the United States focus on their status as victims of war and displacement. I am undertaking a research project highlighting the transnational political movement of Khmer refugee communities in opposing and removing the Vietnamese occupation in Cambodia (1979-1993). Through examining the Hann So Collection on Cambodia Archives at the UC Berkeley Southeast Asian Studies Library, I hope to show how Khmer refugees were active agents in mitigating the pains of displacement by acting in very concrete measures to recuperate and rebuild Cambodia even when overseas or in refugee camps. I believe that the refugees’ activism to save the nation-state was simultaneously a mechanism for their own survival in diaspora, and it is the management of this survival on which I will shed light on through this project. This summer I am reviewing the Hann So Archives as well as conducting background reading on Cambodian colonial history and theories of nationalism.

Message to Sponsor

My area of research is very much an uncharted territory, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to utilize the Hann So Archives. So far only one person has used this collection for academic purposes and I am looking forward to contributing to the body of knowledge regarding nationalism in diaspora and Khmer refugee studies through the use of these archives. I would never have expected to have an opportunity to conduct thesis research on a topic that leans more towards the original/ground-breaking than not, and the SURF grant only makes it more possible for me to seriously engage my project.
  • Major: Development Studies
  • Mentor: Penny Edwards, South and Southeast Asian Studies