A topic widely neglected by both North and South Vietnamese historians, this presentation seeks to understand the discourses on prostitution and its practices in the context of urban Saigon during the Vietnam War. It views these practices as having clear structural continuities from the immediate past, i.e., the French colonial period. More importantly, it investigates contrasting perspectives on prostitution from different social and political circles of North and South Vietnam (e.g., communist, catholic, Buddhist). By doing so, it exposes how prostitution became closely entangled with the fragile politics of the time.
Ms. Nguyễn Bảo Trang is a member of the Faculty of History of the Vietnam National University. She is also a PhD student at the Institute of History, Giessen University, Germany. Her dissertation deals with the history of the sex industry of Saigon, Vietnam during the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Ms. Nguyễn ‘s broader historical research interest is on the cultural history and gender studies in the context of Vietnam.