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CSEAS Friday Forum – Mai Na Lee

March 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

“The Making of Pa Chay Company and the Hmong Communist Revolution”

Mai Na M. Lee
Professor of History and Asian American Studies
University of Minnesota

The role of the Hmong in the communist revolutionary struggle for independence largely remains unarticulated in the historical records even though the current Communist Lao state recognizes Hmong contributions by according the descendants of Hmong communist leaders high honors in their governing system. This paper examines the heroic actions of Thao Tou Yang, a highly decorated revolutionary nationalist leader, and his crucial role as an important nexus between the Pathet Lao and Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh. I will analyze the historical genesis of how and why Thao Tou rallied one third of the Hmong population of Laos on to the Communist side as well as his politics of establishing personal ties to communist cadres sent by Ho Chi Minh.

Mai Na M. Lee is an associate professor of history and Asian American studies at the University of Minnesota. She came to Minnesota as a refugee from Laos in 1981 and grew up in St. Paul. A first-generation college graduate, she obtained a BA from Carleton College and an MA and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

This event is free and open to the public. A recording will be available on the CSEAS YouTube channel following the event.


March 24
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


336 Ingraham Hall, UW-Madison
1155 Observatory Dr.
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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