Through audio diaries and interviews, former SSRC fellow Sienna Craig and her collaborators chronicled the experiences of Himalayan New Yorkers during the pandemic. Many Himalayans live in central Queens, the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in New York City. This essay shares the many challenges faced by the Himalayan community, not least their struggle to be seen as a “community” with its own needs. But it also emphasizes the responses of Himalayans in terms of collective self-help and making claims on city government for attention and essential services.
Sienna R. Craig
Sienna R. Craig is associate professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Cornell University in 2006. Craig is the author of The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives Between Nepal and New York (University of Washington Press, 2020), Mustang in Black and White, with photographer Kevin Bubriski (Vajra Books, 2018), 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 Himalayas (Simon and Schuster, 2008). She is the coeditor of Medicine Between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Grounds (Berghahn, 2010), and Studies of Medical Pluralism in Tibetan History and Society (International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, 2010), among other publications. Craig’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, among other places. From 2012–2017 she served as coeditor of HIMALAYA, Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. Craig is an Executive Council member of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM).