Remitting Desire: Trans-Pacific Migration, Returns and Imaginaries in Vietnam

About the Seminar

In Vietnam, international remittances are not only economically significant but also offer important sociocultural insights into Vietnam’s fraught history of post-war migration and the labor of maintaining and supporting trans-pacific kinship relationships during and after the Cold War. Moving from stories of exile to return, and from gifts to money, this talk examines how the changing relations of material, monetary and bodily mobility between Vietnam and the United States shaped desires, expectations and frustrations from 1975 to present. With ethnographic attention to Vietnam’s coastal region, the talk considers how legacies of migration continue to shape transnational orientations and imaginaries.

About the Speaker

Ivan V. Small is Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Central Connecticut State University. He is author of Currencies of Imagination: Channeling Money and Chasing Mobility in Vietnam (Cornell 2018), and co-editor of Money at the Margins: Global Perspectives on Technology, Financial Inclusion & Design (Berghahn 2018). His publications also appear in Journal of Consumer Culture, Mobility in History, Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, and Journal of Vietnamese Studies among others. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 20 June 2019


Jun 21 2019


10:30 am - 12:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2