University of Colorado at Boulder

Colloquia Event

Friday November 04, 2016. 03:30 pm. GUGG 205

At the Threshold of this Life: Marriage, Family, and Migration between Nepal and New York

Sienna Craig

Dartmouth, Department of Anthropology

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Tibetan Himalayan Initiative. This talk emerges from Dr. Sienna Craig's current book project, The Ends of Kinship: Care and Belonging between Nepal and New York City. This ethnography asks how individuals, families, and communities navigate lives within and between the Himalayan region of Mustang, Nepal, and the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York. Drawing on more than two decades of fieldwork with people in and from Mustang, including intermittent research in New York City since 2000, this ethnography engages with foundational questions in cultural anthropology: What makes and sustains kinship? What does education prepare us for? How are traditions – such as those that govern birth and death, marriage and the moral economies that constitute community – defended and transformed through migration? How do different generations abide with each other, even when they struggle to understand each other? This talk will focus on the formation of new families, primarily through marriage, but also through complex long-distance relationships between Nepal and New York. Dr. Craig will discuss the shifting terrain of class, residence, and cultural hierarchy, as older patterns of matchmaking are at once sustained and challenged today. She will also explore how children travel between these two locales and how grandparents living in Nepal are at once central to, and estranged from, their grandchildren’s lives.