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Community Book Read with Prof. Christian Lentz

Join the GETSEA community for an online discussion with Prof. Christian Lentz about his book Contested Territory: Điện Biên Phủ and the Making of Northwest Vietnam (Yale University Press, 2019), which won the Harry J. Benda Prize of the Association of Asian Studies in 2021.

In his book, Lentz explores the 1954 battle of Điện Biên Phủ, where French colonial forces were defeated by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, marking the end of the French empire in Indochina. Lentz expands his analysis of the battle to include the Black River region and a longer time frame, from 1945 to 1960. Here, he offers a novel conceptualization of territory as a contested process, political technology, and contingent outcome of grounded struggle.

Book cover page. Image from

Christian Lentz is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He received his Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University. His work focuses broadly on Southeast Asia’s politics, society and environment by focusing on nationalism, state formation and agrarian political economy. 

This event will be an in-depth discussion of the book, with the expectation that participants will read the book in advance.

This event will be hold virtually on Oct 19, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada), register at this link.

The Graduate Education and Training in Southeast Asian Studies (GETSEA) consortium was formed with the mission of enhancing graduate education in Southeast Asian Studies across North America. It is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and is hosted by the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University.