Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Vietnam Institute of Literature
Phone: 84-4-3 825 3548
Fax: 84-4-3 825 0385
Address: No.20 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Functions & Tasks of Vietnam Institute of Literature

Institute of Literature was officially established based on the Decision issued by Prime Minister in February 6th 1960. Its predecessor was the Literature Team of Research Department of History, Geography, and Literature which was established in December 2nd 1953 according to the Decision No. 34 NQ/TW of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Viet Bac interzone.  

          In December 26th 2012, Vietnam Institute of Social Sciences changed its name into Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. As a part of VASS, Institute of Literature has been assigned the new functionality and responsibility according to Decision No. 248/QĐ-KHXH in February 27th 2013 of the President of VASS as below: Institute of Literature is a research organization belonged to Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. Its functionalities are to study on fundamental theories, history and literature criticism; to provide scientific evidences for policy makers and a completed developing strategy of Vietnamese literature; to organize education and advisory for the post – graduation of literature; and to join in developing the potential of Vietnamese literature. 


1. Achievements in literature and theoretical studies

Doing researches on the history of Vietnamese Literature of the Institute of Literature has faced many difficulties and significant changes of the national history in the past 60 years. In the progress of making big research works on national literature, Institute has focused on doing collection, transcription and translation of the ancient literature within 5 decades of the Ly and Tran dynast since the early days. As a result, many significant research works have been released and completed, for example, “the poem collection of Ly – Tran dynasty”.

The edition of Vietnamese literature was assigned to the Institute since its first days of establishment. In 1980, the History of Vietnamese Literature – Chapter I was published with total 400 pages. Since 2001, the institute has started to study on the History of Vietnamese Literature from 10th century to the end of the 20th century.

In the research works on folk literature, Institution has published many valuable concepts and methodologies through a progress of collection, systematization, and edition such as The hero of Dong village (1968), Exploration of Vietnamese folk literature (1974) of Cao Huy Dinh; Quan ho singing – origin and the developing progress (1978) of Associate Prof. Dang Van Lung; Idioms and literature categories (1992 - Dr. Tran Duc Cac)…; other collaborated works with staff of Institute and other places as The collection of Vietnamese folk literature, The collection of Vietnamese minority ethnics, Culture of Luy Lau and Kinh Duong Vuong, The collection of Vietnam Myths...

In the research works on  medieval literature,  most of big and important authors of 10 decades have been studied through some conferences and research works of individuals and groups as Nguyen Trai – national talent and mettle (1980), Records of 200th birth anniversary of Nguyen Du (1965)…Based on the total number of research works, medieval literature has many big works of groups as Vietnamese Literature on the way of fighting against China’s violence (1981), The face of Thang long literature (1994)…; other research works focused on some authors as Nguyen Binh Khiem – cultural celebrity (1991), Nguyen Quang Bich – patriot and rhymester (1993), Nguyen Khuyen – life and poem (1994)… Writings and specialized articles: Some description of Vietnamese poetry (1983) of Nguyen Hue Chi, Literature – nation and times (1999) of Nguyen Van Hoan, Ngo Thi Sy - pathway of poems (1992)…

During 20 years before August Revolution 1945, the major research trends of Institute was to confirm and strengthen the value of revolutionary literature through research works and writings about Nguyen Ai Quoc – Ho Chi Minh, To Huu, Song hong, and Poetry in Revolution Period 1925-1945 (1973)...  in the research works on modern literature. Romantic literature includes both New Poetry Movement and Self-Strengthening literary group (before 1945) and all of these works were received a strict criticism.  After 1987, there was a progress of reconsidering what should be seen as negative and harmful features of the romantic literature as stated above through many seminars and big works as Keep thinking of Nam Cao (1992), Thach Lam – literature and beauty (1994), Dang Thai Mai and literature (1995), Hoai Thanh and "Vietnam and rhymester " (1995)… Since the late half of 1990s, Institute of Literature has implemented to edit and publish many significant works with deep meaning which covered many aspects whenever they have enough financial and publishing conditions, such as Dictionary for Vietnamese with total over 3000 pages (2006, 2010);  Events of Vietnamese literature from 1865 to 1945 (2012); The collection of literature (1998); On the way of finding out the truth of art (1998); Modernization and Renewals of Vietnamese literature in the 20th century (2009); Learning more about the progress of Vietnamese modern literature (2009); Draft of Vietnamese modern literature (2013)...

In the research works on world literature, Institute of Literature focused on significant literature objects as Russia, China, and Western literature with the major key as France. Researchers of Institute are authors of many research papers and excellent translations as Creation and literature exchange (2007) of Associate. Prof. Pham Vinh Cu; Russian modern short stories (2003) of Associate. Prof. Dao Tuan Anh; Vonte (1963) is a story about the portrait of Diderot (1986) by Vu Duc Phuc; Honoré de Balzaca master of realism (1966) and he wrote another book in next 15 years named Critical Realism in the Western Literature (1981) of Trong Duc; Criticism of French literature in the 20th century (1995), treatise on A. Gide – literature life and works (2001), Theory – Criticism of world literature in the 20th century (2007) of Loc Phuong Thuy…

In the research works on literature theories, Institute has implemented and published many significant works as Some issues on literature theories (1970); Literature - Life - Poems (1976); small writing papers: On the battle of literature (1972) of Vu Duc Phuc; Following the  artistic pathway of Marx – Lenin and Communist Party (1968) and Gaining an ironic writing style (1978) by Nam Moc; Literature and Reality (1990) of Phong Le; Scientific issues of literature (1990) by Truong Dang Dung and Nguyen Cuong; some works about the history of literature theories: Hai Trieu – a leading theorist (1996), The collection of criticism and research on literature - 5 chapters (1997), History of Vietnamese literature theories and criticism (2013) ... And some works done by groups as Trying hard for new achievements in art (1980), and Creation following the Communist Party’s art (1986). Besides researches based on certain orientation as above, the methodology of literature studies is also mentioned in Discussion on methodology of literature studies (1973) of Vu Duc Phuc; Contribution to learning about poems (1983); About science and art in literature criticism (1980); From signal studies to  poetics studies (1992) of Hoang Trinh.

2. Achievements in other faculties

Education and Training

Apart of training resources, Institute of Literature has focused on professional education so that the quality and knowledge of resources would be improved. In June of 1978, Institute of Literature was assigned to be a center for post graduated education. Since 1986, there have been 120 researchers of Institute who have successfully completed the doctorate degree. This is a highly significant achievement for the education and training of Institute.

International collaboration

In the 60 years, Institute of Literature has built a close relationship with many institutions and research center in the world as, The Gorky Institute of World Literature (IMLI), Chinese Literature Studies Department, Institute of Hungarian Literature, Institute of Germany Literature … Since the end of the 1990s, Institute of Literature has had many site visits to the US, Italy, France, Russia, Australia, Cuba, Spain, China, Thailand, Japan, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, India, and Canada. The Institute also received the visits of groups from Russia, China, and Hungary. The aim of these visits is for exchanging and learning experiences between countries.

Institute of Literature has also worked with scientific organizations and countries to hold many international seminars as: Working with Harvard Yenching Institute of the US for the workshop on Vietnamese Literature in the regional and international exchanging (2006), International Scientific Workshop of young literature researchers (2008), Approaching Asian literature by Western modern theories: application, integration, challenges and opportunities (2011). Working with Russia for the 100th year celebration of Leo Tolstoy (2010)…


           Up to 2003, Institute has published near 500 books done by individuals and research groups in all faculties. Since 2003, there have been more than hundred books released and they all have their own unique and values admitted by society. Many writing papers were written based on a filter and collection from scientists’ articles which have been published before such as Still about human and literature, A person inside literature, Writing from Hanoi, Feelings of a new spring of Phong Le; Poems and some Vietnamese modern authors of Luu Khanh Tho; Critics of Vietnamese modern literature of Trinh Ba Dinh; Literature discussion of Nguyen Huu Son... There are some other works which are similar collections as following: The Collection Ha Minh Duc (3 volumes with 3000 pages), Phong Le’s collection (800 pages), Vietnamese old literature under the cultural aspect and artistic codes of Nguyen Hue Chi (near 1200 pages)... There are three remarkable books done by research groups of the Institute as Theories and History of Literature, 762 pages, (1999), Looking back Vietnamese literature in the 20th century, 1088 pages (2002) and Theories and Criticism of Literature – Renewals and Development, 1085 pages, and (2005).

Recently, there are two new research works on the life of modern literature as Vietnamese modern poems and Nguyen Quang Thieu and History and Culture – Artistic view of Nguyen Xuan Khanh in 2012.

Building library – document

Library of Institute of Literature is the second big library in Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences, only smaller than Institute of Social Sciences and Information.

 Today, Library has had 36569 books and articles published on Literature Magazine in Vietnamese since 1960.  Most of books are rare and valuable and in field of literature or some related sciences as culture, history, philosophy in many languages as Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Nom, English, French, German, Czech language, Italian, Japanese … Library also stores ancient and valuable magazines as Nam Phong, Phong hoa, Today, Tri tan (Learning new things), Phu nu Tan van (Women in new literature), Trung Bac tan van (Trung Bac new literature)… Vietnamese magazines have 431 types in which 32 in Chinese, 48 in Russian and 92 in English or French… Library has kept adding in or exchanging magazines and books annually with local and oversea organizations and individuals from France, UK, America, Japan, Korea … Up to day, Library has collected and translated more than 3100 documents from languages as Nom, English, French and Russian.  

During the past 60 years, Institute of Literature was awarded 1st class Independent Order (1999) for its excellent but silent contribution to the development of national literature sciences. Also, the Literature Magazine was awarded the 1st class Labor Order in 1990. Many researchers of Institute have received National Awards and Hochiminh Awards on art and literature.  These are precious awards which Communist party and State have offered to the Institute during the 60 years of hard working and creation.