Kate Hiester

Credentials: Vietnam

2007 SKJ Fellow

Kate Hiester, a third-year Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology, has lived in Guatemala, Morocco, and Ecuador, but ultimately decided that her heart was in Southeast Asia. When traveling in Vietnam in 2003, she first learned of the floating villages on Ha Long Bay and became fascinated with both the way of life and the massive social and environmental changes happening there. She is focusing her research on a development program of UNESCO and the Vietnamese government in one of the floating villages, called the Cua Van Floating Cultural Center. Kate’s studies have been supported by FLAS Fellowships, as well as funding through the UW Center for Southeast Asian Studies. She will spend this summer in Vietnam interviewing locals, officials, and tourists about the Floating Cultural Center’s design and daily activities. This summer’s work will help her develop working relationships in the field and strengthen her grant applications for her dissertation fieldwork.