A lecture by Sienna Craig, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Dartmouth College.
Sienna Craig is a professor of cultural anthropology at Dartmouth College, 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 decade, she has been investigating contemporary Tibetan medicine, both in Nepal and Tibetan areas of China and as a globalizing “complementary and alternative” medicine. She analyzes how practitioners of Tibetan medicine transmit knowledge between generations, and how they are professionalizing. She also address the translation of science across cultural, epistemological, and ideological borders by documenting what happens when Tibetan medicines are made to adhere to biomedical standards of drug safety and quality, and as they are evaluated through clinical research in Asia and the West.