Dr. Karen Turner, film maker, writer, and College of the Holy Cross professor, will be the principal speaker at a lecture hosted by the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project at the Worcester Public Library. Dr. Turner will introduce her documentary, Hidden Warriors: Women on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This film focuses on the vast number of Vietnamese women who went to war, a piece of history that is often overlooked. When the United States intensified its air war after 1965, thousands of young women left their homes in North Vietnam to lend support to the regular army. The film, 46 minutes in length, contains archival footage from Hanoi. It documents the daily lives and struggles of these women who defended the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The film is based on Dr. Turner’s book, Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam, which she co-authored with Phan Thanh Hao, a Vietnamese journalist. By using oral histories, private letters, and diaries, the authors delve into the important role North Vietnamese women played during the war. The documentary, produced by Dr. Turner and Phan Thanh Hao, is the first collaborative effort of its kind by American and Vietnamese colleagues.
Dr. Turner has been a faculty member at the College of the Holy Cross since 1987. She is a trained scholar of classical Chinese law, and has written about law in China. She is now working with a team at Stanford University to compare the Chinese and Roman empires. Dr. Turner’s contributions have been essential in the development of the Asian Studies program at Holy Cross. She has been the recipient of several academic awards and honors, including the Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., Professor of Humanities, from 2002-2005.
The program on December 11 will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square. It is free of charge and is open to the public. At the conclusion of the film, Dr. Turner will answer questions from the audience.