Anthony Tran, a radio, television and film graduate student, has received a Fulbright grant for students to conduct research during the 2010-11 academic year on Vietnamese film in Hanoi.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to go abroad for graduate study, advanced research, and teaching in universities or elementary and secondary schools. The program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, operating in over 155 countries. Forty Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes.
Tran is earning his master's degree in radio, television and film with an emphasis on critical and cultural studies of television, film and media. He says he chose to do research in Vietnam — his parents' home country — with his Fulbright grant after realizing that most academic studies of Vietnam-related films have focused on American depictions of the Vietnam War. He also noticed that citizens of Vietnam were open to American culture, including film, when he visited his cousins in Ho Chi Minh City in 2004.
"With Hollywood films allowed in Vietnam after 1995 and gaining popularity with Vietnamese audiences, Vietnamese filmmakers were likely influenced in terms of style and narrative," Tran says. "I plan to do a survey of people of the types of movies they enjoy to determine an acceptance or dismissal of the ‘Hollywood' style. My project will not only reveal how Vietnamese citizens perceive themselves and American citizens and culture, but also what stereotypes and conceptions in film lead them to these perspectives. Recognizing these aspects will lead to a deeper understanding between the two cultures."
Tran says the research will help him write his master's thesis. He entered the master's program in fall 2009 after receiving his bachelor's degree in history and film studies from Texas A&M University. While at UNT, Tran has worked as a teaching assistant and received the 2010 Graduate Student Academic Excellence Award in Radio/Television/Film.
He has also taught free English conversation and grammar courses through the Arlington Reads Program at Arlington's libraries, and provided free tutoring to Vietnamese immigrants. He plans to volunteer for English-as-a-Second-Language courses in Hanoi and hold weekly conversation circles with native Vietnamese speakers, in addition to improving his own reading and writing skills in Vietnamese at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Tran will return to UNT after his year in Vietnam to complete his master's degree. He plans to earn a doctoral degree in film and media studies and become a college professor.
Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at email@example.com.