Sienna R. Craig

Sienna R. Craig

Fellow: Awarded 2018
Field of Study: Anthropology and Cultural Studies

Competition: US & Canada

Dr. Sienna R. Craig is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. As a sociocultural anthropologist, Craig is invested in understanding the worlds of health, illness, healing, and medicine across cultures, as well as how individuals and communities navigate processes of migration and social change. Over the past two decades, she has conducted ethnographic research primarily in Nepal, Tibetan regions of China, and the United States. One of her current projects is a multi-disciplinary research endeavor, Voices of the Himalayas, which is focused on language endangerment and revitalization, immigration experiences, and cultural preservation and transformation among Himalayan New Yorkers.

Craig will use support granted by the Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her current book project, The Ends of Kinship: Care and Belonging between Nepal and New York City, 1998-2018.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Craig earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Brown University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 2006. She is the author of two ethnographies, Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine (University of California Press, 2012) and Horses Like Lightning: A Story of Passage through the Himalaya (Wisdom Publications, 2008), and is the co-editor of several volumes, including Medicine Between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Grounds (Berghahn Books, 2010). From 2012-2017, she co-edited HIMALAYA, Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. She is the co-founder of DROKPA, a non-profit organization that partners with Himalayan communities to support education, community health, and social entrepreneurship.

Craig is committed to collaboration and writing across genres. She is the author of Clear Sky, Red Earth: A Himalayan Story (Mera Publications, 2009), a children’s book illustrated by painter Tenzin Norbu, which has been published in English and Tibetan. Her poetry chapbook, A Sacred Geography: Sonnets of Tibetan and Himalayan Landscape (Simplemente Maria Press, 2005) is part of an artist’s book of the same title by painter and papermaker Mary Heebner. Mustang in Black and White is a forthcoming book on which Craig has collaborated with photographer Kevin Bubriski. Craig has also partnered with composer Andrea Clearfield on the works Tse Go La – At the Threshold of this Life and Khandroma – Sky Dancer, which combine Craig’s poetry in English and Tibetan with new music inspired by culturally Tibetan repertoires. An OpEd Project Public Voices Fellow (2013-14), Craig’s work has appeared in forums such as CNN, Pacific Standard, The Huffington Post, and The Nepali Times.

Craig’s professional training and research trajectories have been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission.

Profile photograph by Macduff Everton

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