American Design Diplomacy in South Vietnam: Gender as a Diplomatic Relation, 1956


  • Jennifer Way University of North Texas


Palabras clave:

Vietnam, craft, design, refugee, gender, power, artesanía, diseño, refugiados, género, poder


Este ensayo explora cómo la dimensión de género contribuyó al trabajo de los medios de comunicación impresos que transmitían información sobre el diseño y los diseñadores estadounidenses en diálogo con la artesanía vietnamita, y los artesanos refugiados durante la Guerra Fría estadounidense en Vietnam. En gran medida, los estadounidenses que participaron en el programa de ayuda a la artesanía del Departamento de Estado en Vietnam del Sur promovieron los beneficios de la ayuda a la artesanía, y su apoyo se basó en la política. Sin embargo, la política de la diplomacia estadounidense en relación con Vietnam del Sur se basó en el poder de Estados Unidos. Las fotografías publicadas en revistas de diseño de interiores y artesanía estadounidenses ayudaron a convertir a los refugiados en un tema de interés para los lectores estadounidenses. Asimismo, asentaron el estatuto del diseñador diplomático, al que los artesanos refugiados estaban subordinados. Su autoridad en Estados Unidos definida a través del género sustentó en parte el poder y la agencia que ejercía en Vietnam del Sur y en relación con este.

This essay explores how gender contributed to the work of mass print media relaying information about American design and designers in dialogue with Vietnamese craft and its refugee artisans during the American Cold War in Vietnam. In large measure, Americans participating in State Department’s craft aid program in South Vietnam promoted the benefits of craft assistance, and their support was predicated on politics. However, the politics of American diplomacy concerning South Vietnam meted craft through American power. Photographs published in American magazines for interior design and craft helped shape refugees into subjects of interest for American media readers. Equally, they constituted the status of the designer diplomat to whom refugee artisans were subject. In part, his gendered authority at home in the United States underwrote the power and agency he wielded in and in relation to South Vietnam.

Biografía del autor/a

Jennifer Way, University of North Texas

Jennifer Way is Professor of Art History specializing in art since 1945.


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