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Multi-format set / Oral History of Thanh Le Lam

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Oral History of Thanh Le Lam
Lam, Thanh Le
Tran, Isabelle Tam Nha
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC Irvine, Libraries, Southeast Asian Archive
Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History project
Rights Information
This material is provided for private study, scholarship, or research. Transmission or reproduction of any material protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Contact the University of California, Irvine Libraries, Special Collections and Archives for more information (
Scope/Content: An oral history with Mrs. Thanh Le Lam (Surname: Lam, First name: Thanh), born on July 14, 1965, in Can Tho, South Vietnam, the largest city of the Mekong Delta. She is the youngest child in a family of 7 children. She identifies as ethnically Chinese and attended Chinese-run school before the government change in 1975. She left Vietnam in 1984 at the age of 19 with only her mother through the Orderly Departure Program (ODP). She stayed at the Bangkok refugee camp in Thailand for ten days before departing to California, landing on May 28, 1984, where her older brothers had already set up papers and a home. She lived with them in Orange, CA, where she started learning English as a Second Language (ESL). In 1985, she began studying at Santa Ana College, where she graduated with an AS degree in Computer Science in 1988. That same year, she transferred to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she eventually graduated with a BS degree in Computer Science in 1991. In 1994, she married Tin Tran and bought their first home in Santa Ana, CA. They moved to Orange, CA in 1998, where they continue to live with their two children, who were both born and raised in Orange County.
Scope/Content: At what point in time can one pinpoint the beginning of Vietnamese America? Does it begin with the Fall of Saigon? Does it begin with the creation of Little Saigons throughout America? In looking to define Vietnamese American experiences, do we limit what it has been and what it could be? Whatever the entry point, experiences of Vietnamese Americans are inextricably tangled with the political, economic, and social structures of racial, class, and gender hierarchy in the United States and notions of authenticity and nationalism. Thus, to begin learning what the Vietnamese American experience entails, is to also begin unlearning. This course seeks to understand, unravel and complicate what Vietnamese America is through a critical refugee and critical race lens. By analyzing various issues, we are able to see how Vietnamese Americans are affected by larger societal forces such as capitalism and imperialism. This course aims to: 1. To introduce the student to the history, culture, and contemporary experiences of Vietnamese Americans, highlighting how power and privilege entangles them all together. 2. Expand current discourse around social issues that affect Vietnamese Americans by using both scientific literature, creative works and scholarly articles. 3. Expose students to the multitude of historical, contemporary and local Vietnamese American narratives, taking advantage of the proximity to one of the largest Little Saigons.
1 mp3 audio file; 1 pdf transcription English; 1 pdf time log; 1 pdf life map; 11 jpg image files
Ancestor | Anti-Communism | Anti-Communist | Art | Arts | Entertainment | Artist | Assimilation | Boat people | Buddhist | Business | Business owner | Catholic | Children | China | Chinese | Ethnic Chinese | College | University | Computer scientist | Education | Emigration | Employment | Engineer | Entertainment | English as a Second Language (ESL) | Ethnicity | Family | Family reunification | Higher education | Identity | Immigrant | Information Technology (I.T.) | Media | Refugee camp (Thailand) | Refugee Camp (Malaysia) | Refugee camp (Philippines) | Sponsorship | Student | Tet Festival | Viet Cong | Orderly Departure Program (ODP) | Vietnam War | Cal State Fullerton | Santa Ana College | California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | Santa Ana, California | Orange, California | San Francisco, California
Time Period
Vietnamese American Experience Class Oral Histories, 2019 Winter

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