Philip Catton

Philip Catton, Ph.D.

Ohio University, 1998
Modern Asia, U.S.-Vietnamese Relations


Telephone: 936.468.2387
Office: 361 Vera Dugas Liberal Arts North


My two major doctoral fields were Southeast Asian and US Diplomatic History (with minor fields in East Asian and US Military History). Because of my interest in both Asian and US History, I chose in my dissertation to focus on US-Vietnamese relations – specifically, US relations with the government of Ngo Dinh Diem during the early 1960s. A revised version of the dissertation was published as Diem’s Final Failure: Prelude to America’s War in Vietnam (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002). The Vietnam War has remained my area of expertise and primary research interest, particularly the Vietnamese side of the conflict.


I am currently working on a study of the movement of northern Vietnamese to the southern half of Vietnam following the Geneva Conference of 1954. This event had tremendous repercussions for the individuals involved and the broader political situation in Vietnam. My study aims at examining both the politics and diplomacy surrounding the movement and the motivations and experiences of the refugees themselves. I have written several journal articles on the subject, one on the role of a British naval vessel involved in the refugee evacuation (Historical Research 83:220, May 2010, pp.358-77) and the other on the provision in the Geneva Agreements that gave people the right to freedom of movement and facilitated the mass exodus that followed (Diplomatic History 39:2, April 2015, pp.331-58). The publishing information and abstracts for the articles can be found at:


At SFA, I have taught the following classes: