Continuing in my effort to bring academic ideas and knowledge to YouTube, I’ve decided to make a series of videos, in collaboration with Phan Lê Hà, that focus on a young scholar in Vietnam by the name of Trần Quang Đức.

The author of a very well-researched book on the history of clothing in premodern Vietnam, Trần Quang Đức describes himself as an “outlaw scholar” (học giả giang hồ).

We like that expression, as we think that the best scholars in any given society are often viewed (at least at first) as “outlaws” because they challenge the ideas of established scholars.

And while having their ideas challenged may make established scholars feel uncomfortable, it is what moves scholarship forward, and therefore is something that we all should welcome.

The above video is simply an introduction to the videos that we plan to make in the future. In this video we equate the spirit of scholarship with the spirit of rock music.

To be a rocker, one needs to be wild, passionate and a bit of an outlaw. To move scholarship forward, one needs those very same traits.

We think Trần Quang Đức has those traits too, and by following him in the videos that we plan to make, hopefully we can all move scholarship forward (at least a little bit).

This introductory video is in Vietnamese, but we plan on making future videos bilingual (Vietnamese and English).

Stay tuned for more to come!