History on the Run

Secrecy, Fugitivity, and Hmong Refugee Epistemologies

History on the Run

Book Pages: 272 Illustrations: 9 illustrations Published: February 2021

Author: Ma Vang

American Studies, Asian American Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies

During its secret war in Laos (1961–1975), the United States recruited proxy soldiers among the Hmong people. Following the war, many of these Hmong soldiers migrated to the United States with refugee status. In History on the Run Ma Vang examines the experiences of Hmong refugees in the United States to theorize refugee histories and secrecy, in particular those of the Hmong. Vang conceptualizes these histories as fugitive histories, as they move and are carried by people who move. Charting the incomplete archives of the war made secret through redacted US state documents, ethnography, film, and literature, Vang shows how Hmong refugees tell their stories in ways that exist separately from narratives of US empire and that cannot be traditionally archived. In so doing, Vang outlines a methodology for writing histories that foreground refugee epistemologies despite systematic attempts to silence those histories.



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Ma Vang is Assistant Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Merced, and coeditor of Claiming Place: On the Agency of Hmong Women.

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Table of Contents Forthcoming
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1131-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1027-2