Con ăn cơm chưa? Refugee Lessons on Feeding and Care in the Vietnamese Diaspora


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




“Con ăn cơm chưa?” or “Child, have you eaten yet?” examines intergenerational approaches to a politics of care by focusing on a primordial act of care in the Vietnamese diaspora: feeding. Drawing on diasporic Vietnamese literature, archives in the US and France, and community oral histories which attest to the significance of food in care, this project creates an archive of care that foregrounds refugee experiences and epistemologies. It argues that refugees enact a pure hospitality through a politics of care even as humanitarian governments engender inhospitable conditions. By recovering these often forgotten histories and unacknowledged practices, this project seeks to not only illuminate the vestiges of colonialism in modern-day crises, but also learn lessons from refugees on alternative ways of being and being together.