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You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of the Vietnam War

February 23, 2021

Speaker: 

Elizabeth Becker, former war correspondent for The Washington Post in Cambodia

Moderated by Andrew C. Mertha, Dean of the Faculty and the George and Sadie Hyman Professor and Director of the China Studies Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Elizabeth Becker joined the school for a discussion on her newest book You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Vietnam War. Using a series of historical photographs in her presentation, Becker told a story of three women journalists from three different continents who converged in Vietnam when it was extremely rare and difficult for women to become foreign correspondents. Becker outlined the personal journeys of each of the three women -- thrill-seeking French photographer Catherine Leroy, Australian iconoclast Kate Webb, and patrician American intellectual Frances FitzGerald -- and highlighted how their unique perspectives and attributes not only allowed them to fill in important gaps in the history of the Vietnam War, but also helped pave the way for the enterprising women who came after them.

Becker offered some accounts of her own experiences as a journalist in Southeast Asia to add context to the stories of the three women, and also to comment on the state of journalism today.

In addition to You Don’t Belong Here, Becker is the author of several other books including When the War was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution, America’s Vietnam War: A Narrative History and BOPHANA.