Re-interpreting feminism through classic Vietnamese texts: a critical discourse analysis of Truyện Kiều and its presence in Vietnamese secondary textbooks.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Gender, power, and curriculum intertwine in educational settings, where curriculum both reflects and reinforces societal inequalities. Textbooks, a key component of curricula, play a pivotal role in shaping gender identities and perpetuating power imbalances. In Vietnam, a nation marked by a history of imperialism and colonialism, the state dictates the curriculum, primarily through standardized textbooks. However, there is a growing call for curriculum reform, particularly in literature education, to adopt a competence-based approach.

Critiques have emerged regarding the stereotypical portrayal of gender in Vietnamese textbooks, especially in literary texts like "Truyện Kiều" (The Tale of Kiều). This classic work, while celebrated for its cultural and literary significance, has been interpreted through various lenses, including feminist perspectives. Scholars have debated whether the protagonist, Kiều, represents a symbol of virtue, Vietnamese nationalism, or feminism.

To reevaluate the feminist discourse within "Truyện Kiều" and its portrayal in Vietnamese literature textbooks, this study employs a feminist critical discourse analysis (Feminist CDA) approach. By analyzing the original text and comparing it with textbook interpretations, this research uncovers a nuanced feminist narrative encompassing elements of humanism, gynocentrism, and resistance against oppression. The findings suggest the need for a more transformative approach to curriculum interpretation, one that embraces the complex socio-historical context and promotes gender equity in secondary education literature curricula in Vietnam.
PeriodApr 2022
Event titleBAICE Early Career conference ‘Potential and challenges in education in today’s world’
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational