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Library Events

iROC: Vietnamese Coal Mines (1890-1945)

Oct 04

12:45 PM1:45 PM
Kaplan Library Room 218

Dynamite, Opium, and a Transnational Shadow Economy at Vietnamese Coal Mines (1890-1945)

iROC - Investigating Research on CampusPortrait of: Thuy Linh Nguyen

Please be with us October 4th when Thuy Linh Nguyen, Division of Social Sciences, presents Dynamite, Opium and a Transnational Shadow Economy at Vietnamese Coal Mines (1890-1945).

During the French colonial period (1858-1954), Vietnam became one of the world’s leading coal exporters. As a result, the rise of the coal mining industry in Vietnam has often been linked to the French economic presence and their drastic methods of exploitation. But beyond the confines of modern mining enterprises, coal mining also fueled clandestine economic activities and bound communities across the Chinese-Vietnamese borderland. Dr. Nguyen’s presentation explores a thriving, complex and intersected world of criminal activities involving the theft and trafficking of explosives and opium that took place at the coal mines in northern Vietnam. Her investigation into these theft crimes exposes a transnational shadow economy led by Vietnamese mine workers, Chinese opium syndicates and their secret trading networks. This blended history of coal mining, crime and labor provides a new perspective in understanding the coal industry, the importance of inter-Asian networks and the fluidity of a mining frontier.

Thuy Linh Nguyen is Associate Professor of History at Mount Saint Mary College. Originally from Vietnam, Dr. Nguyen completed her doctoral studies on Asian history at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests are modern Vietnam, East Asian transnationalism and the history of European imperialism.

Dynamite, Opium and a Transnational Shadow Economy at Vietnamese Coal Mines (1890-1945) will take place in Kaplan Library Room 218 of the Dominican Center. This event has been approved FYE credit as College Connection. All are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!


For more information about this or any of the iROC presentations, or to volunteer as or recommend an iROC speaker, please contact the coordinators of the iROC program - Dr. Evan Merkhofer, Assistant Professor of Biology, 845-569-3368, or Jen Park, Assistant Librarian for Access and Outreach Services, 845-569-3546,

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