Clune recording audio in a market in Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo by Vansana Nolintha.

“Home in a New Place: Making Laos in Morganton, North Carolina” is a MA thesis project by Katy Clune, completed for the Folklore Program, Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in May 2015.

The success of this project depended on the following unwavering help:

  • The generous hospitality of the larger Phapphayboun family
  • The many thoughtful conversations and connections made by Toon Phapphayboun
  • Dan and Judy Clune (who once again hosted their daughter overseas!)
  • Guidance from a supportive and enthusiastic thesis committee: Bernie Herman (chair), Patricia Sawin, and Marcie Cohen Ferris
  • Support during early stages of fieldwork from Glenn Hinson
  • The staff of the Center for the Study of the American South, especially Emily Wallace (who created the exhibition logo used in this website’s footer)

Clune’s broader professional work supports the arts and global cultural heritage through effective writing, design, communication strategies, and creative programming. For more information about her work, visit Unless otherwise noted, all photos, audio, and video on this site are by Clune.


Photo of Clune in Morganton

Left to right: Pam Roths, Noubath Siluangkhot, Khamsi Bounkhong Siluangkhot, Katy Clune, Meemee Phapphayboun, and Sarah Roths.