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Grant number like: FA-56615-12

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Christina Schwenkel
Regents of the University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA 92521-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013

Revitalizing the City: Socialist Architecture, Postwar Memory, and Urban Renewal in Vietnam

This project explores urban architecture as a site for managing tensions between remembrance and forgetting, mobility and immobility, and dwelling and displacement in contemporary "market socialist" Vietnam. Through ethnographic and archival research, it traces radical urban transformation in Vinh, a once-model socialist city that is now emerging as a regional center of capitalist trade and commerce. Following its complete destruction by U.S. bombing raids, Vinh was rebuilt with East German aid, technology, and urban planning expertise. The project chronicles the postwar reconstruction of Vinh to become a center of global socialist modernity and economic recovery, and more recent urban initiatives toward privatization and sustainable redevelopment. It focuses in particular on new forms of civic engagement among impoverished city residents who have called for the recognition of East German architecture as "heritage" to be restored, rather than socialist "ruins" to be demolished.