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Current Exhibits

Spring 2017 Exhibit | After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years

Striking a Balance poster

This year, the UCI Libraries is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Southeast Asian Archive through a spring quarter exhibit, After-Lives of War: the Southeast Asian Archive over 30 years. The exhibit explores the genres, rhetoric, and real effects of wartime documentation and postwar reflection, as carried out by journalists, soldiers, civilians, and artists in verbal, visual, and mixed media forms.

The Southeast Asian Archive (SEAA) was established in 1987 to document the experiences of refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (the countries constituting the former Indochina) who resettled in the United States after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The SEAA collects, preserves, and provides access to materials related to refugees and immigrants who left their homes as boat people and land refugees, their resettlement in the United States (and to a lesser extent, worldwide), the development and growth of Southeast Asian American communities, and (to a lesser degree) the culture and history of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. A special emphasis is placed on Southeast Asian Americans in Orange County (home to UC Irvine) and the rest of California. The largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam, known as Little Saigon, has developed just ten miles north of the UCI campus, and the largest Cambodian community outside of Cambodia, known as Cambodia Town, is in Long Beach, about 20 miles up the coast. The largest concentration of Hmong community can be found in the California Central Valley and the largest population of Laotians are in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The 30th anniversary has been celebrated throughout this academic year in partnership with the Department of Asian American Studies’ “Homescapes/Warscapes 25/30” program, as the department has also reached a significant milestone of 25 years. The celebration will culminate in an exhibit titled “After-Lives of War: the Southeast Asian Archive over 30 years,” co-curated by Dr. Thuy Vo Dang, archivist for the SEAA, and Professor of Art History, Dr. Cécile Whiting. Thuy and Cécile have collaborated on integrating Art History undergraduate students into the planning of this exhibit, which will highlight a new collection of refugee artwork from Hong Kong. Their collaboration was sparked by Professor Whiting’s role in co-convening the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Documenting War during the 2016-17 academic year with Professor Carol Burke. 

After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years will be on display through Septemberr 2017 in the Langson Library Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery and OC&SEAA Center during regular library hours.

Exhibit Curators: Cecile Whiting, Ph.D. and Thuy Vo Dang, Ph.D.  
Exhibit Designers: Jennifer Betonio, Allan Helmick, and Sylvia Irving

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The UCI Libraries Exhibits Program promotes the diverse holdings and scholarly and cultural value of the Libraries’ collections to the campus and community.
•    To support the Libraries' Collection Enhancement Fund, please go to: 
•    To sponsor this exciting event please contact Wendi Morner, Director of Development, at or call 949.824.8904.


Winter 2017 Exhibit | Our Majestic Lands: California's National Parks


Out of all the states, California has the most National Parks with nine in total, each representing an incredible diversity of environments and landscapes. While we now find enjoyment from their recreational use in activities ranging from hiking and bouldering to camping and picnics, the appeal of these landscapes has a long and storied history that is uniquely bound to the history of California. The stories of the people who fought to preserve them for future generations are not without their controversies, but the splendor of the parks are unquestionable and their enduring appeal is a fundamental part of the California experience.

Our Majestic Lands: California's National Parks
will be on display through June 2017 in the Ayala Science Library, Second Floor during regular library hours.

Download Brochure
Exhibit Opening Photos


Past Exhibits

Other Exhibits

  • Abraham Trembley: A Pioneer in Developmental Biology
    An exhibit of the gifts donated by Howard and Sylvia G. Lenhoff on display in the Ayala Science Library 1st floor lobby.
  • East Asian Languages & Literatures - Book Exhibits
  • Hmong Textiles
  • Documenting the Southeast Asian Refugee Experience
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