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Urmitapa Dutta
Urmitapa DuttaAssistant Professor
  • College
    College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department
  • Phone
    (978) 934-4000
  • Email

Research Interests

Youth participatory action research, Critical community psychology, Conflict transformation and peacebuilding, Northeast India/South Asia

Informed by a critical social justice agenda, Urmitapa DuttaÍs research focuses broadly on marginalization. Her research aims to understand and address marginality where it is intimately connected to violence. UrmitapaÍs doctoral dissertation was a critical ethnographic investigation of the struggles over cultural representations and their relationship to varied expressions of ethnic violence in Northeast India (South Asia). Her dissertation interrogates the culture of normalized everyday violence in the region and examines how it reconfigures identities and subjectivities of youth. As part of this project, Urmitapa has worked with youth to develop innovative, community-based approaches to address everyday violence and to promote ïeveryday peaceÍ. Her research interests also include university-community collaborations as a means of building local community capacities. While continuing her activist ethnographic work in Northeast India, UrmitapaÍs future research will simultaneously focus on developing participatory action research projects with young people from marginalized contexts in the Lowell area.


  • Ph D: Clinical Community Psychology, (2012), University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
    Supporting Area: qualitative inquiry
  • MA: Clinical Psychology, (2005), University of Dehli - India
  • BA: Psychology, (2003), University of Dehli - India

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Recognition for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Teaching (2014) - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Exemplary Diversity Scholar Citation by National Center of Institutional Diversity (2012) - University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
  • Herman Eisen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Psychology (2011) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
  • Society for Psychological Anthropology Travel Award (2011)
  • Society for Community Research amd Action Travel Award (2009)

Selected Publications

  • Dutta, U., Aber, M., (2017) "Enacted Cultural Critique: Examining Everyday Violence in Garo Hills. ," Journal for Prevention and Intervention in the Community 45:1 pp. 19-31
  • Dutta, U. (2016) "Ethnographic Approaches.," Oxford University Press. pp. 69-79
  • Dutta, U. (2016) "Prioritizing the Local in an Era of Globalization: A Proposal for Decentering Community Psychology," American Journal of Community Psychology 58:3-4 pp. 329-338
  • Dutta, U., Sonn, C.C. (Victoria University), Lykes, M.B. (Boston College) (2016) "Situating and Contesting Structural Violence in Community-based Research and Action," Community Psychology in Global Perspective 2:2 pp. 1-20
  • Dutta, U. () "The Everyday and the Exceptional: Rethinking Gendered Violence and Human Rights in Garo Hills, India,"
  • Dutta, U., Andzenge, A.K., Walkling, K. (2016) "The Everyday Peace Project: An Innovative Approach to Peace Pedagogy," Journal of Peace Education 13:1 pp. 79–104
  • Dutta, U., Shroll, T., Engelsen, J., Prickett, S., Hajjar, L., Green, J. (2016) "The “Messiness” of Teaching/Learning Social (In)Justice," Qualitative Inquiry 22:5 pp. 345-352
  • Dutta, U. (2015) "Ethnographic Approaches ,"
  • Dutta, U. (2015) "The Long Way Home: The Vicissitudes of Belonging and Otherness in Northeast India," Qual.Inq.Qualitative Inquiry 21:2 pp. 161-172
  • Dutta, U. (2014) "Critical ethnography," SAGE Publications pp. 89-105
  • Dutta, U. (2013) "Beyond the Ethnicity Question: Constructing and Enacting more Inclusive Identities ," DVS Publications pp. 290-299
  • Dutta, U., Kral, M.J., Ramírez García, J.I., Aber, M.S., Masood, N., Todd, N.R. (2011) "Culture and Community Psychology: Toward a Renewed and Reimagined Vision," American Journal of Community Psychology 47:1 pp. 46-57
  • Dutta, U., Aber, M.S., H.A., S., De La Rosa, B., Khuri, L. (2010) "Fostering Diversity, Dialogue and Democracy in the Intersections Living and Learning Community at the University of Illinois,"
  • Dutta, U. (2009) "Book Review: Blisters on Their Feet: Tales of Internally Displaced Persons in India's North East," Pacific Affairs 82:3 pp. 552-553

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Graduate Fellowship (2010), Fellowship - Illinois University
  • American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Research Fellowship (2010), Fellowship -
    Dutta, U.
  • University of Illinois Dissertation Travel Grant (2009), Grant - University of Illinois