Over the last two and a half years, Bucknell History professor David Del Testa has been working – on his own and in collaboration with me and the GIS Student Assistants – on integrating GIS into his research on historical protest events in Vietnam. Last October, Prof. Del Testa presented preliminary results from this work at UC Berkeley’s Center for Southeast Asia Studies. Click here to see a video of his presentation and to check out his H-GIS (historical GIS) blog Places, Spaces, Peoples, History.
On Wednesday, February 8th, Prof. Del Testa will be travelling to New Haven, CT to deliver another presentation of his work in progress. The presentation, called ‘Re-Evaluating Vietnam’s Nghe-Tinh Soviets (1930-31) using a Historical GIS,’ will be hosted by the Yale University Council for Southeast Asian Studies and is open to the public (in case you happen to be in the neighborhood… the talk will be held in Room 203, Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue).
Here’s a link to the presentation announcement, along with an abstract:
“Reevaluating the Nghe-Tinh Soviets of 1930-1931 using a Historical GIS: Refining Some Preliminary Observations”
David Del Testa, Department of History, Bucknell University
The Nghe-Tinh Soviets of 1930-1931, a rebellion against colonial authority in north-central and central colonial Vietnam, has received extensive analysis by a variety of commentators and scholars, both Vietnamese and not. Most scholars, Vietnam and internationally, settled on some view of immiseration combined with the presence of pro-communist organizers as the motive forces for the rebellion, but a few have favored questions of political dissatisfaction and local empowerment as underlying motivations for revolt. Until recently, examining the rebellion on a gross scale in order to test either theory has proven difficult, with a surfeit of information but no easy way to process it in order to underwrite large-scale analyses. Del Testa is using a historical GIS (geographical information system) analysis, which blends statistics with digitized maps, in order to display correlations between factors, such as wealth, religion, and so on of those who rebelled in order to reexamine the Nghe-Tinh Soviets movement on a grand scale. His presentation will illustrate some initial findings as well as the techniques used.