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Dr. Tam Ngo


Tam Ngo is the leader of the research program “Bones of Contention: Technologies of Identification and Politics of Reconciliation in Vietnam” funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.
As a permanent member of the NIOD, she oversees the building up of a research line on the role of religion and science in social healing, environmental reparation, and the politics of reconciliation in postwar contexts. As a social anthropologist, she builds her theoretical framework on a wide range of ethnographic settings that include postwar Vietnam Indochinese refugees in the west, and Vietnamese Chinese refugees in China.

Besides the program “Bones of Contention”, her current research includes projects on the social memory of the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese border war in China and Vietnam (book monograph in preparation), on spiritual heritage and the politics of reconciliation in postwar Vietnam, and the comparison of German refugees from Eastern Europe (1944-1950) to Chinese refugees from Vietnam (1978-1989) (with prof. Peter van der Veer, MPI), on the social embeddedness of genomics, and particularly on the relation between DIOXIN and DNA among communities who have to deal with the footprints of the Vietnam War.
She has published widely on various aspects of postwar Vietnam, from mass conversion to Christianity, atheist secularism, war memory and religious nationalism, religion, and peace, Buddhism in the Vietnamese diaspora, the popular deification of Ho Chi Minh, sacred geography, and spiritual warfare.

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