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Haydon Cherry

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Yale University, 2011
Curriculum Vitae


Geographic Field(s):  Asian History; Modern European History: France and Global Francophonie; Global History

Thematic Field(s):  Economic and Labor History; Urban History

Principal Research Interest(s):  Modern Southeast Asia


Haydon Cherry (Ph.D., Yale University, 2011) is a historian of modern Southeast Asia, particularly modern Vietnam. His first book, Down and Out in Saigon: Stories of the Poor in a Colonial City, 1900-1940, has been  published by Yale University Press. The book traces the changing social and economic history of the poor in colonial Saigon (now Hồ Chí Minh City) by following the lives of six individuals (a prostitute, a Chinese coolie, a rickshaw puller, an orphan, an invalid, and a destitute Frenchman) in the first decades of the twentieth century. His second book project is an intellectual history of twentieth-century Vietnam told through the biography of Đào Duy Anh, arguably the most important Vietnamese scholar of the modern period.


  • Down and Out in Saigon: Stories of the Poor in a Colonial City, 1900-1940 (Yale University Press, 2019).
  • “Digging up the Past: Prehistory and the Weight of the Present in Vietnam,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 4 (2009): 84-144.

Teaching Interests

At Northwestern University, Cherry teaches courses on the history of modern and contemporary Southeast Asia as well as modern global history.