Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver
Sienna Radha Craig
Sienna Craig was born in 1973 in Santa Barbara, California. She received her BA in religious studies (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude) from Brown University in 1995. Sienna first visited Nepal in 1993, through a college semester abroad program; she made her first foray to Mustang at this time. Upon completion of her BA, Sienna was granted a Fulbright Fellowship to return to Nepal and continue the ethnographic research and writing she had begun while studying abroad.
The material gathered during her tenure as a Fulbright Fellow in anthropology (1995-96) provided the foundation from which Horses Like Lightning: A Story of Passage Through the Himalayas has been written. Sienna lived in Nepal from 1995-1998, working as a freelance writer, editor, experiential educator, trekking guide, and development consultant. Although she no longer lives in Nepal, she has continued to return to Nepal at least once a year.
While living in Nepal, Sienna met Kenneth Bauer, whom she married in 1999. In 1998-99, they founded DROKPA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to partner with pastoral communities in the Himalaya and Central Asia to implement grassroots development and catalyze social entrepreneurship. DROKPA currently funds projects in Nepal, Ladakh, India, Bhutan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, in the following areas: alternative energy, education and training, community health and Tibetan medicine, and social entrepreneurship.
Sienna began studies toward her Ph.D. in anthropology at Cornell University in 1999; she earned her MA in 2002 and completed her doctorate in 2006. She began a tenure-track appointment at Dartmouth College that same year. Sienna Craig is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. At Dartmouth, Sienna teaches courses on Health and Illness, Global Health, Asian Medical Systems, Tibet and the Himalaya, and other segments of the department’s cultural anthropology curriculum. She enjoys working with students and collaborating with colleagues across the Arts and Sciences and at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
As a cultural anthropologist, the major focus of Sienna’s research, writing, and teaching is the social study of medicine. Her work is invested in understanding the multiple ways that so-called ‘traditional’ medical systems interact with biomedicine: from patient-healer relationships and the cultural meanings people ascribe to suffering and affliction; to the wider socioeconomic and political circumstances in which medical practitioners are trained, healing occurs, and medicines are produced, evaluated, and distributed. Over the past ten years, much of her current research and writing projects investigate contemporary Tibetan medicine, both in Nepal and Tibetan areas of China and as a globalizing “complementary and alternative” medicine. She has also conducted research on women’s and children’s health, migration and social change, and the impacts and politics of health-development interventions.
Sienna is currently the co-editor of Himalaya, the journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. She is also the Chair of the Medical Advisory Board for One Heart World-Wide. She has published widely in both academic and popular venues, and enjoys writing in a range of genres – from scholarly articles to poetry, creative non-fiction and journalism to children’s literature.