George E. Dutton


Cham RuinCham Ruin at My Son to the west of the city of Hoi An, Viet Nam.

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Office Location: 248A Royce Hall

Office Hours (Winter 2013): T/Th, 10:30-11:30,
and by appointment

I am an associate professor of the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, where I specialize in early modern through early colonial Vietnamese history. I teach courses on early and contemporary Vietnam, and a range of courses in Southeast Asian studies. These include courses on Southeast Asian religions in contemporary society and on Zomia, which involves critical issues relating to upland ethnic communities in mainland Southeast Asia and Southwest China. My first book was about the Tây Sơn uprising in late 18th century Vietnam, but I have also explored topics in 19th and early 20th century Vietnamese history. These have ranged from military technology to poetry to visual humor in the form of newspaper caricature.

My most recent academic project was as coeditor of a sourcebook of primary document translations, Sources of Vietnamese Tradition. This volume contains several hundred documents relating to all periods of Vietnamese history and was recently published by Columbia University Press (2012). My current project is a biography of Philiphê Bỉnh, a Vietnamese Jesuit priest who spent more than thirty years in Lisbon as an emissary of the northern Vietnamese Jesuit community in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Other projects I am working at the moment are revisions of articles on historiography of early twentieth-century Vietnamese collective actions, and on the neologisms that emerged from the Tonkin Free School at the beginning of the twentieth century. The latter focuses on the concept of "society" and the ways in which it was introduced into the Vietnamese vernacular and how it was understood. I am also finishing up a project to create an anthology of literary texts from across Southeast Asia from ancient to contemporary times, which is under contract with M.E. Sharpe. As may be clear, while I have a special interest in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Vietnamese history, my research interests are fairly eclectic as I explore numerous facets of Vietnamese society, culture, and literature.

Beyond UCLA, I am currently serving as the Chair of the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies. I am also the Book Reviews editor for the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, the only English-langage academic journal devoted entirely to publishing research relating to all aspects of the study of Vietnam.



Sources of Vietnamese Tradition (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), co-editor with Jayne S. Werner and John K. Whitmore.

The Tay Son Uprising: Society and Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006). [also a reprint edition; Chiang Mai: White Lotus Press, 2008.]


Journal Articles

“Beyond Myth and Caricature: Situating Women in the History of Early Modern Vietnam,” Journal of Vietnamese History (forthcoming)

“’Society’ and Struggle in the Early Twentieth Century: The Vietnamese Neologistic Project and French Colonialism,” Modern Asian Studies, (in revisions)

“Nhin Lai Tinh Canh Va Vai Tro Cua Nong Dan Thoi Tay Son” [Reconsidering the Situation and Role of the Peasants in the Tay Son Period] Xua va Nay, (Hanoi) no. 281 (April 2007).

“Ly Toet in the City: Coming to Terms with the Modern in 1930s Vietnam,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 2, No. 1 (Feb. 2007): 80-108.

“Reflections on Two American Wars,” amerasia journal vol. 31, no. 2 (2005): 116-121.

“Reassessing Confucianism in the Tây Sơn Regime (1788-1802),” Southeast Asia Research 13, no. 2 (July 2005): 157-183.

“The Hoàng Lê Nhất Thống Chí and Historiography of Late Eighteenth-Century Đại Việt,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36, no. 2 (June 2005): 171-190.

“Burning Tiger, Flaming Dragon: Military Technology and Strategy in Pre-modern Viet Nam,” The Journal of East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine 21 (2003): 48-93.

“Verse in a Time of Turmoil: Poetry as History in the Tay Son Period,” Moussons 6 (December 2002): 37-68.


Book Chapters

“Advertising, Modernity, and Consumer Culture in Colonial Vietnam,” Exploring the Middle Class in Vietnam: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, Van Nguyen-Marshall, Daniele Belanger, and Lisa Drummond, eds. (Springer, 2011).

“From Civil War to Uncivil Peace: The Vietnamese Army and the Early Nguyen State (1802-1841),” in Armies and Societies in Southeast Asia, c. 1800-2000, Marie-Eve Blanc, Gilles de Gantès, and Tobias Rettig, eds. (Paris: Les Indes Savantes, forthcoming).

“Bridging the Gap: Academic Linkages with Southeast Asia,” in Southeast Asian Studies: A State of the Field Survey, Laurie Sears, ed. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007).

“An Introduction to Maurice Durand’s Histoire des Tay Son, in Maurice Durand, Histoire du Tay Son, Philippe Papin, ed. (Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2006).

“Crossing Oceans, Crossing Boundaries: The Remarkable Life of Philiphê Binh (1759-1832),” in Viet Nam: Borderless Histories, Anthony Reid and Nhung Tuyet Tran, eds. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006).

TowerCentral Tower of the Xa Loi Buddhist Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam