Drawing on empirical data from qualitative research I conducted with eight Vietnamese American youth in the Fall of 2020, this paper forwards transtrauma, a new framework for conceptualizing and understanding the lived experiences of Vietnamese American youth. The concept of transtrauma goes beyond the pathologizing of individual trauma, to examine how structures of domination inflict and extend trauma in marginalized communities, such as that of Vietnamese American communities. Transtrauma transcends the overt and linear focus on trauma as a single experience and the examination of how institutionalized violence by nation states shapes the experiences of Vietnamese Americans. This conceptualization interrogate the United States role in shaping the trauma of Vietnamese Americans. The workshop showcases the importance of storytelling and the Arts as a way to guide Vietnamese American high school-age youth to collectively share their stories of their parents and grandparents’ journey from Vietnam to the United States. These collective stories highlight the transtrauma that Vietnamese Americans continue to experience.
"Transtrauma: Conceptualizing the Lived Experiences of Vietnamese American Youth,"
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement: Vol. 18
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol18/iss1/4