Teaching Vietnamese American Literature and the Vietnam War

Free in-person workshop for teachers

Teaching Vietnamese American Literature and the Vietnam War

** This is a 100% in-person event. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. **

This workshop will share new frameworks and lesson plans for teaching Vietnamese-American literature, particularly in secondary schools.

Our project, Teaching Literature for Liberation, seeks to empower teachers with language arts and literature resources for creating justice-driven and equity-oriented learning environments that affirm all students. Inspired by and designed as a literary complement to Learning for Justice’s Teaching Hard History project, Teaching Hard Literature provides free educational materials to support the teaching of historically underrepresented literatures in K–12 classrooms.


Sylvia Chong
Sylvia Chong is Associate Professor of English and American Studies and the Director of the Asian Pacific American Studies minor at the University of Virginia. She is the author of The Oriental Obscene: Violence and Racial Fantasies in the Vietnam Era (Duke University Press, 2012), and co-editor of the anthology (Re)Collecting the Vietnam War (a special issue of the Asian American Literary Review, Fall/Winter 2015). She has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley and an A.M. in Education from Stanford University, and has previously taught in public high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Helen Min
Helen Min is a Ph.D. candidate and Dean’s Fellow in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development (UVA) with a research focus on evaluating trauma-sensitive pedagogy, understanding the impact of stress on teacher well-being, and assessing the extent of vicarious trauma on teachers. She taught for six years in Baltimore, MD, Osaka, Japan, and Cairo, Egypt, and received her MS. Ed. from Johns Hopkins University. 

Joseph Wei
Joe Wei is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Virginia. His research areas include Asian American literature, critical refugee studies, and poetry and poetics.

Sarah Winstein-Hibbs
Sarah Winstein-Hibbs, PhD, is a high school English teacher at the Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter school, where she teaches IB courses in writing and literature. Before deciding to switch to high school education, she was an Assistant Teaching Professor of English at Penn State University, where she taught courses on The Graphic Novel, The Rhetoric of Public Memory, and freshman composition. Since 2018, she has served as Co-Director of Research and Analysis for Literature for Liberation - a role in which she analyzed survey data from 1200+ teachers nationwide and made initial curricular recommendations. Her research on race and American literature has been published in scholarly journals such as American Literary History, American Quarterly, and Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US. In 2021, she received her PhD in American Literature from the University of Virginia, where she also served as Assistant to the Director of Writing. Sarah originally hails from St. Louis, MO, where she used to work as an after-school creative writing and art teacher in the St. Louis city school district.






Sylvia Chong, Associate Professor, English and American Studies, U. of Virginia
Introduction and Overview of Vietnamese American Lit and History



Sarah Winstein-Hibbs, Assistant Teaching Professor, Penn State
Helen Min, Ph.D. candidate, Education, U. of Virginia
Teaching the Graphic Novel The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui: Pre-reading


Lunch break


Sarah Winstein-Hibbs and Helen Min:
Teaching the Graphic Novel The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui: Ch. 1



Joseph Wei, Ph.D. candidate, English, U. of Virginia
Teaching Spoken Word Poetry by Bao Phi and Poetry by Ocean Vuong



Sylvia Chong:
Resources for Teaching Vietnamese American Lit. in K-8


Breakout to small groups: 
Winstein-Hibbs: Teaching Graphic Novels
Min: Trauma-Sensitive Approaches to Teaching Refugee Literature 
Wei: Teaching Poetry and Spoken Word
Chong: Integrating Complex Histories into ELA Classrooms


Evaluation/Closing Remarks

This program is sponsored by

February 25, 2023 10:00am to 4:00pm

University of Virginia

Zehmer Hall

104 Midmont Ln, Charlottesville, VA 22903

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