Department of Geography and the Environment

Geography Student Joseph Lam Wins Fulbright Scholarship

Wed, April 24, 2013

The UT Department of Geography and the Environment is pleased to announce that geography and urban studies major Joseph Lam has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for 2013-2014. 

His project will focus on the Vietnamese refugee population in West Germany, their perspectives on citizenship & naturalization, their status in the process of integration, and their part in the shifting collective identity of Germany. Interviews will be conducted that preserve refugee narratives of arrival and examine the implications of past and present policies towards immigration in Germany. In Lam's own words:

"My proposed project will focus on the Vietnamese refugees in West Germany and their families as a significant yet understudied ethnic group. I intend to research their role and perspectives on the citizenship and naturalization law (its recent reform in 1993, 1999), their status in the process of integration, and their part in the shifting collective identity of Germany. I plan to compile a video anthology of structured video-interviews recording the original refugee narratives of the Vietnamese to West Germany for historic preservation, conduct video interviews with the 2nd generation of Vietnamese migrants, and co-author a paper on Vietnamese refugees to Germany with Prof. Dr. Anke Ortlepp of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). By collecting these narratives before they are lost, we can help to integrate this history into the widening collective cultural memory and identity of German. In doing so, we begin to alleviate xenophobia and intolerance systematically from the inside out."

Joseph Lam has also recently been awarded the 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Award for the department, based on a combination of academic excellence and leadership. He also interned for National Geographic in Fall 2012. In 2011, he was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for his study abroad in Vienna, Austria. You can watch his follow-on project video here.

Congratulations to Joseph for his dedication, skills and achievements.

To find out more about the Fulbright Scholars program and how to apply, please visit

 To learn about past Fulbright recipients in the Geography department, read more at

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