CISA Feature Speaker: Sienna Craig on "Care and Belonging at The Ends of Kinship: Himalayan Lives Between Nepal and New York"

CISA Feature Speaker: Sienna Craig on "Care and Belonging at The Ends of Kinship: Himalayan Lives Between Nepal and New York"

Monday, November 2, 2020

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)

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For centuries, people from Mustang, Nepal, have relied on agriculture, pastoralism, and trade as a way of life. Seasonal migrations to South Asian cities for trade as well as temporary wage labor abroad and Mustang-based tourism have shaped their experiences for decades. Yet, more recently, permanent migrations to New York City are reshaping lives and social worlds. Mustang has experienced one of the highest rates of depopulation in contemporary Nepal—a profoundly visible depopulation that contrasts with the relative invisibility of Himalayan migrants in New York. Drawing on more than two decades of fieldwork with people in and from Mustang, this book on which this presentation is based combines narrative ethnography and short fiction to engage with foundational questions in cultural anthropology: How do different generations abide with and understand each other? How are traditions defended and transformed in the context of new mobilities? Craig draws on khora – Tibetan Buddhist concepts of cyclic existence as well as the daily act of circumambulating the sacred – to think about cycles of movement and patterns of world-making, shedding light on how kinship remains both firm and flexible in the face of migration. From a high Himalayan kingdom to the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, The Ends of Kinship asks how individuals, families, and communities care for each other and carve out spaces of belonging in and through diaspora, at the nexus of environmental, economic, and cultural transformation. This presentation will engage with these issues and also discuss how COVID-19 is impacting the lives of those from Mustang, between Nepal and New York.


Sienna R. Craig is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2006. Craig is the author of The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York (2020), Mustang in Black and White (with photographer Kevin Bubriski, 2018), Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine (2012), and Horses Like Lightning: A Story of Passage through the Himalaya (2008). Her research has been supported by grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Fulbright Commission, and the Social Science Research Council, among other sources. Craig enjoys writing across genres, from literary ethnography and interdisciplinary social science research to creative nonfiction, fiction, children’s literature, and poetry. From 2012-2017 She was the co-editor of HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. Since 2009, she has served as a member of the Executive Council of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM). 






For any questions, please email us at CISA



Download file: SIENNA-CRAIG-FLYER-4r-0b4.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia

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