Search Our Center's site: 

Advisory Board 2013–2014
Philip Alperson
Dr. Philip Alperson

Ba Dieu
Dr. Nguyễn Thị Điểu
Dr. Erik Harms HawkesworthDr. Mary Hawkesworth HienDr. Lương
Thu Hiền
JhalaDr. Jayasinhji Jhala nhanDr. Ngô Thanh Nhàn Le Anh TuLê Anh Tú Packard Dr. Melissa Pashigian Trần Hữu Quang

Dr. Philip Alperson, Founder and Senior Scholar at the Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture, and Society; Professor Emeritus Temple University

Philip Alperson

Professor of Emeritus
Philosophy Department

Director, Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture & Society, (2004-2011).

Professor Alperson’s main interests are in aesthetics, the philosophy of the arts, theory of culture, value theory, and theories of interpretation and criticism, with special interests in the philosophy of music and philosophical questions concerning creativity, performance, and improvisation. Professor Alperson was the editor of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the journal of the American Society of Aesthetics, from 1993 – 2003 and is the General Editor of the Blackwell Series, Foundations of Aesthetics. He is currently at work on a book on the philosophy of music. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture, and Society and was the Founding Director of the Center for the Humanities at Temple. He directs the Department's faculty exchange program with Vietnam, leading yearly seminars in Hanoi. He is also a sometime jazz musician.

Dr. Nguyễn Thị Điểu, Associate Professor of History, Temple University

Ba Dieu

Associate Professor of History

Research and Teaching Interests:
World History, Southeast Asian, Vietnamese History.

Personal Statement:
In my research as in my teaching, I have been motivated by the desire to understand, on the one hand, the natural environment, and on the other hand, humanity, linked inextricably by their interactions. Born in Vietnam, during the war known as "the American War" or "the Vietnam War," its histories, cultures, and environment are part of my identity as a historian. My early writing resulted from the combination of all the above factors. My present research has focused on an analysis of the fabric of Vietnamese national identity manifested through multiple identifiers. On this long journey, I have begun work on a general history of Vietnam while examining Vietnam's ancient past through the lenses of varied fields such as archaeology, anthropology, and epistemology, for a capstone monograph on the formation of Vietnamese national identity.

Representative Publications:
Culture and Customs of Vietnam (with Mark McLeod, Greenwood, 2001), The Mekong River and the Struggle for Indochina: Water, War, and Peace (Praeger, 1999), "European Reconquest and Neo-Colonialism in Southeast Asia," in Loyd Lee, ed., World War II in Asia and the Pacific and the Post-War World, vol. 2, 1998, "State versus Indigenous Peoples: The Impact of Hydraulic Projects on Indigenous Peoples of Asia," Journal of World History 7:1 (March 1996).

Dr. Erik Harms, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Yale University

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Yale University


Dr. Mary Hawkesworth, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

Mary Hawkesworth

Contact information

Mary Hawkesworth
Department of Women's and Gender Studies
Rutgers University
162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, N.J. 08901

Mary Hawkesworth is Professor and Chair in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies and a member of the Graduate Faculty in Political Science at Rutgers University. Her teaching and research interests include feminist theory, women and politics, contemporary political philosophy, philosophy of science, and social policy. Hawkesworth is the author of Globalization and Feminist Activism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006); Feminist Inquiry: From Political Conviction to Methodological Innovation (Rutgers University Press, 2006); Beyond Oppression: Feminist Theory and Political Strategy (New York: Continuum Press, 1990); and Theoretical Issues in Policy Analysis (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988);  co-author of Women, Democracy and Globalization in North America (Palgrave, 2006); editor of War and Terror: Feminist Perspectives (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2008), The Encyclopedia of Government and Politics (London: Routledge, 1992; 2nd Revised Edition, 2003), and Feminism and Public Policy (Policy Sciences 27(2-3), 1994), and co-editor of Gender, Globalization and Democratization (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).  Her articles have appeared in leading journals including the American Political Science Review, Political Theory, Signs, Hypatia, Women and Politics, Journal of Women's History, NWSA Journal, International Journal of Women's Studies, and the Women's Studies International Forum.  She has served on the Editorial Boards of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Women and Politics and the International Feminist Journal of Politics.  She is serving as the Editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2005-2010.

Under the auspices of the Temple Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture and Society, Hawkesworth organized a week long intensive seminar for scholars on "Feminist Philosophy" at the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy, Hanoi in  January 2008.  She has participated in the Seminars on Western Philosophy in 2003, 2004, and 2007, giving presentations on "Social Justice and Feminist Strategies for Social Change," "Feminists v. Feminization: The Quest for Social Justice in the 21st Century," "David Hume and James Madison: Defining the Public Good in Terms of Private Interest," "Jean-Jacques Rousseau: On the Dilemma of Liberty and Equality," "John Locke: On the Justification of Private Property and the State as the Protector of Private Property," "Thomas Hobbes and the Mechanistic Conception of Self and State," "Gender and Globalization," "Feminist Critiques of Culture: Theory and Practice." She has also helped organize briefings in Washington, D.C. for delegations of Vietnamese scholars visiting the United States.

Dr. Lương Thu Hiền, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Women in Politics and Public Administration at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Administration


— 2007 - present: She is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at Temple University.
— 2003 - present: The Ford Foundation fellowship for the Ph.D program in Philosophy at Temple University.
— 2001: American Council of Learned Society-ACLS (CEEVN) scholarship for Language Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
— 2000: Swiss Government fellowship for Human Right Studies at Summer University for Human Rights and the Right to Education, Geneva, Switzerland.
— 1996- present: Faculty member at the Department of Philosophy, the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy, Hanoi, Vietnam.
— 1992: International Award for Young Talented Students (The Award for the Student of the Year).

She is a founding member of the Ford Foundation Project for Philosophical Development in Vietnam, parts of which are the English-Vietnamese Handbook on Philosophy and Political Economy, and series of international conferences in philosophy.

She has published in philosophical journals including The Journal of Philosophy and Philosophy and Practice. She has participated in multiple philosophical research projects including Ho Chi Minh's Style of Thinking published in 2001. She is also a translator. One of her translated works, Guidelines For The Translation Of Social Science Texts, was published by American Council Of Learned Society in 2006.

She interests in Philosophy of Existence, Philosophy of Lao Tzu 老子 and Chuang Tzu 莊子, Zen Buddhist Philosophy, Vietnamese Philosophy and Philosophy of Vietnamese Classical Literature, Comparative Philosophy, Aesthetics, German Idealism, Phenomenology, and Marxism.

Dr. Jayasinhji Jhala, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Temple University

I am the director of our visual anthropology programs and director of the media lab I have been involved in interpreting culture on film and video for the past twenty years. I have been educated at the St Stephens College, Delhi, India, where I received a BA in English Literature [1968], from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology I received a MVS [1983] and from Harvard University I received a Ph.D [1991]. I've produced, directed, filmed and edited over fifteen well received ethnographic films, that illustrate the cultures of India and the U.S. and speak to various issues in visual anthropology. A Zenana and Tragada Bhavai [1981], Bharvad Predicament, Journey with Ganapati [1983], Forgotten Headhunters and Apatani Sacrifice [1978], Whose Paintings? [1995], Morning with Asch [1997] and Conversation with a Collector: Dialogue with a Docent [1998], ShaktiMa Noh Veh [ 2006], The last rtes of the Honorable Mr Rai [2008] have been seen by national and international audiences. My written publications address issues about art and anthropology, nomadism, religious worship, indigenous interpretations of local culture, ethnographic filmmaking and its reception, photography, Hindu marriage, and Rajput ideology and politics. My research is concerned with the interpretation of culture on various audio, visual and audio-visual media and new conventions by which to make visual communication more effective. In addition, I am concerned with visual ethnographers, their biographies and their practice. At the present time I am working on several ethnographic films that address themes of transhumance, Hindu domestic worship, animal worship, Hindu philosophical concepts, Rajput ideology and biography. Much of this material has been gathered and structured in collaborations with Temple graduate students [ Courtney Stoll, Robert Segel, Bruce Broce, Dr. Mathew Durrington, Dr.Joseph Gonzales, Susanne Kempf, Robert Lazarsky, Dr.Carey Million, Elizabeth Noznesky, Dr. Sam Pack, Dr. Lindsey Powell, Dr Pallabi Charkravoty], and undergraduate students [ Rhett Grumbkow, Katey Mangels, Justin Agnew, Alethea carbough, Lauren Semmel, Ilan Isakov, Paul Salvitti,Richard Cousins, Ronn Asch, Alex Goldblum, Brendan Muzinski, Shawn Tymon, Philip Rached, Mioko Kurasawa] in field research and media lab participation in the US and in India, and in collaboration with individuals and institutions in both countries. I am the Director of the Temple University Summer Program for India. This is intended for undergraduates and graduate students alike and it is designed to introduce them to an alien culture in a nurturing environment. Students can explore the various dimensions of the program by looking it up as well as contacting the Temple University International Program's Director Denise Connerty at 215 204 0727. I am now the Director of the new Visual Anthropology Initiative for Vietnam at Temple University, Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture, & Society and am assisting in growing the discipline of visual anthropology in Vietnam, with Dr Lauren Meeker, Dr Nguyen Bich Hien, Lauren Semmel, Dr Philip Alperson and Dr Sophie Quinn-Judge.

Dr. Ngô Thanh Nhàn

Appointment of Dr. Ngô Thanh Nhàn as Visiting Research Scholar at Temple University

The Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture and Society is delighted to announce the appointment of

Chữ Nôm

Dr. Ngô Thanh Nhàn as Visiting Research Scholar, from September 1, 2006. Dr Nhàn will be working on projects connected to the digitizing of Nôm documents, in particular the collection of Hán Nôm documents held by the Institute of Social Science Information in Hanoi.

Dr. Nhàn is a computational linguist who specializes in computer character encoding.

He was associated with Vietnam's efforts to standardize codes for Quốc Ngữ, its romanized script; since 1992 he has been working on the ideographic-based Nom script, the first system for writing the Vietnamese language. Go to Ngô Thanh Nhàn's web page.

See more information on the Preservation of Vietnam's Nôm Script and the Center's Nôm Studies Corner.

Dr. Melissa Pashigian, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Anthropology, Bryn Mawr University

Associate Professor
and Department Chair
Department of Anthropology
Bryn Mawr University


Dr. Trần Hữu Quang, Associate Professor of Sociology, Center for Information, institute of Sustainable Development in Vietnam, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Center for Information
Institute of Sustainable Development
Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences


Gladfelter Hall, Room 1016 1115 Polett Walk Philadelphia, PA 19122 Contact: