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Uttaran Dutta

Uttaran Dutta

Associate Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
Arizona State University
PO Box 871205
Tempe, AZ 85287-1205


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Associate Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Affiliate Faculty, Global Technology and Development, School of Letters and Sciences
  • Affiliate Faculty, Center for Asian Research
  • Affiliate Faculty, Global Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Uttaran Dutta studies creative ways to address development, health and social disparity issues. His research focuses on sustainable development and social change in marginalized communities, analyzing the importance of culture, communication, design and innovation in transforming the lives of people who are socially, politically and economically poor. In all his work, local participants are the key forces in identifying and developing cost-effective solutions using local resources.  For example, in one project, he is developing a computer application for illiterate people in rural India to access useful information regarding local weather, employment, education, and other basic services such as healthcare. In another project, he collaborated with local people to construct a mini-hospital, library-cum-museum and a protection-wall to save sacred environmental resources in remote indigenous villages in eastern India. 

Additionally, Dutta researches the folk-culture and indigenous knowledge of the underserved to document and understand alternate ways of viewing the world.


  • PhD, Communication Studies, Purdue University, 2013
  • MDes, Visual Communication Design, IIT Bombay, India, 2006
  • MBA, Business Administration, India, 2003
  • BE, Civil Engineering, India, 2001


Journal Articles


Dutta, M. J., S. Ramasubramanian, M. Barrett, C. Elers, D. Sarwatay, P. Raghunath, S. Kaur, D. Dutta, P. Jayan, M. Rahman, E. Tallam, S. Roy, A. Falnikar, G. Moana Johnson, I. Mandal, U. Dutta, I. Basnyat, C. Soriano, V. Pavarala, T. T. Sreekumar, S. Ganesh, A. Rathina Pandi and D. Zapata. 2021. Decolonizing open science: Southern interventions. Journal of Communication jqab027. DOI: 10.1093/joc/jqab027. (link )

Dutta, U. 2021. Understating South Asia interculturally and communicatively: What the contemporary scholarship tells us.. Sociology Compass 15(5):e12876. DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12876 Read the full text PDFPDF. (link )

Jamil, R. and U. Dutta. 2021. Centering the margins: The precarity of Bangladeshi low-income migrant workers during the time of COVID-19. American Behavioral Scientist 65(10):1384-1405. DOI: 10.1177/00027642211000397. (link )


Dutta, U. 2020. Indigenous health organizing at the margins: Creating access to health by building health infrastructure. Health Communications 35(10):1177-1189. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1622065. (link )

Dutta, U. 2020. Protecting sacred-groves: Community -led environmental organizing by Santhals of eastern India. Environmental Communication 14(1):36-51. DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1585895. (link )


Dutta, M., A. Rathina Pandi, D. Zapata, R. Mahtani, A. Falnikar, N. Tan, J. Thakar, D. Pitaloka, U. Dutta, P. Luk and K. Sun. 2019. Crtical health communication method as embodied practice of resistance: Culturally centering structural transformation through stuggle for voice. Frontiers in Communication 4:67. DOI: 10.3389/fcomm.2019.00067 . (link )

Dutta, U. 2019. Addresssing contextual challenges in underserved indigenous spaces of the global South: In search of an approach based on unlearning, co-learning, and relearning. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 18:1-11. DOI: 10.1177/1609406919891267. (link )

Dutta, U. 2019. Conducting ethnographic research in low literate, economically weak underserved spaces: An introduction to iconic legisigns-guided interviewing (ILGI). International Journal of Qualitative Methods 18:1-12. DOI: 1609406919855279. (link )

Dutta, U. 2019. Design engagements at the margins of the global South: De-centering the "expert" within me. Sustainability 11(20):5675. DOI: 10.3390/su11205675. (link )

Dutta, U. 2019. Digital preservation of indigenous cultural and narratives from the global South: In search of an approach. Humanities 8(2):68. DOI: 10.3390/h8020068. (link )

Dutta, U. 2019. Gender inequality and rural employment generation program in India. International Journal of Communication and Social Network 6(1-2):52-65. (link )

Dutta, U. 2019. Sufi and Bhakti performers and followers at the margins of the global South: Communication strategies to negotiate situated adversities. Religions 10(3):206. DOI: 10.3390/rel10030206. (link )

Dutta, U., S. R. Ali and N. Ahmad. 2019. Relevance and values of Gandhi's and Backa Khan's moral education in negotiating?/addressing situated disparities of South Asia. Education Sciences 9(2):108. DOI: 10.3390/educsci9020108. (link )


Dutta, U. 2018. Negotiating structural absences: Voices of indigenous subalterns of eastern India. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research 47(1):52-71. DOI: 10.1080/17475759.2017.1415952. (link )

Dutta, U., P. H. Cheong and R. Shuter. 2018. Contemporary gurus in Indian classrooms: Changing professorial authority and cultural tensions in managing digital connectivity. International Journal of Communication 12:1369-1388. (link )

Shuter, R., U. Dutta, P. Cheong, Y. Chen and J. Shuter. 2018. Digital behavior of university students in India and the U.S.: Cultural values and communication technologies In the classroom. Western Journal of Communication 82(2):160-180. DOI: 10.1080/10570314.2017.1294703. (link )


Dutta, M. J., S. Sastry, S. Dillard, R. Kumar, A. Anaele, W. Collins, C. Roberson, U. Dutta, C. Jones, T. Gillespie and C. Spinetta. 2017. Narratives of stress in health meanings of African Americans in Lake County, Indiana. Health Communications 32(10):1241-1253. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1204583. (link )

Dutta, U. 2017. Adivasi media in India: Relevance and contribution in legitimizing marginalized voices. Intercultural Communications Studies XXV(3):213-231. (link )

Dutta, U. 2017. Adivasi media in India: Relevance in representing marginalized voices. International Communication Studies XXV(3):213-231. (link )


Dutta, U. 2016. Designing for the underserved: My reflections. Design for All: Place-People-Purpose-Relevance 11(12):13-20. (link )

Dutta, U. 2016. Designing for the underserved: My reflections. Design for All 11(12):13-20. (link )


Dutta, U. 2015. Questioning dominant development practices. The Journal of International Communication 21(2):169-188. DOI: 10.1080/13216597.2015.1052534. (link )

Dutta, U. and S. Das. 2015. The digital divide at the margins: Co-designing information solutions to address the needs of indigenous populations of rural India. Communication Design Quarterly Review 4(1):36-48. DOI: 10.1145/2875501.2875504. (link )


Dutta, M. J. and U. Dutta. 2013. Voices of the poor from the margins of Bengal: Structural inequities and health. Qualitative Health Research 23(1):14-25. DOI: 10.1177/1049732312462241. (link )

Book Chapters


Dutta, U. 2021. Chapter 19: Communication design and co-creation of information solutions for sustainable social change at the margins. In: Melkote, S. R. and A. Singhal eds., Handbook of Communication and Development. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN: 9781789906349. (link )

McAllum, K., S. Mallette, T. Rife and U. Dutta. 2021. From sitting in the classroom to facing it: Becoming and growing as a teacher. Pp. 111-124 In: Wackernagel Bach, B., D. O. Braithwaite and S. Ganesh eds., By Degrees: Resilience, Relationships. and Success in Communication Graduate Studies. Cognella. San Diego, CA. ISBN: 978-1793506764.


Dutta, U. 2020. Portrayal of women in hand-painted visual discourses on the streets of India. Pp. 125-142 In: Herdin, T., M. Faust and G. Chen eds., De-Westernizing Visual Communication and Cultures: Perspectives from the Global South. Nomos Verlagsellschaft. Baden-Baden, Germany. ISBN: 978-3-8487-6577-5.

Dutta, U. and M. Ghosh. 2020. The road ahead. Pp. 563-568 In: Ghosh, M. ed., Perception, Design, and Ecology of the Built Environment: A Focus on the Global South. Springer. Cham, Switzerland. ISBN: 978-3-030-25878-8.

Dutta, U. and J. N. Martin. 2020. Sociological approaches to intercultural communication: exploring the ‘silent zones’. Pp. Chapter 10 In: Rings, G. and S. Rasinger eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Intercultural Communication. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781108429696.


Dutta, U. 2019. Development. Pp. 730-731 In: Sturman, J. ed., The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. SAGE Publications, Inc.. ISBN: 9781483317755 .

Dutta, U. 2019. Indigenous rights. Pp. 1173-1174 In: Sturman, J. ed., The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. SAGE Publications, Inc.. ISBN: 9781483317755.


Dutta, U. 2017. Intercultural communication studies in India. International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication.

Dutta, U. and J. N. Martin. 2017. Theoretical perspectives in intercultural communication. In: Chen, L. ed., Intercultural Communication. Vol 9. De Gruyter. ISBN: 978-1-5015-0007-7.

Sen, S. and U. Dutta. 2017. They came by boat: The 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai. Pp. 119-135 In: George, A. M. and K. Kwansah-Aidoo eds., Culture and Crisis Communication: Transboundary Cases from Nonwestern Perspective. John Wiley & Sons. Hobooken, NJ. ISBN: 978-1-119-00975-7.


Dutta, U. 2015. Change-agentry. Pp. 45-46 In: Bennett, J. ed., The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence. SAGE Publications. Thousand Oaks, CA. DOI: 10.4135/9781483346267.n26.

Dutta, U. 2015. Design problems. In: Edwards, C. ed., The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN: 978-1472521576.

Dutta, U. 2015. Social relations. In: Edwards, C. ed., The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN: 978-1472521576.


Dutta, M. J., S. Dillard, R. Kumar, S. Sastry, C. Jones, A. Anaele, U. Dutta, W. Collins, T. Okoror and C. Roberson. 2013. Relational tensions in academic-community partnerships in the culture-centered approach (CCA): Negotiating communication in creating spaces for voices. Pp. 457-478 Reducing Health Disparities: Communication Interventions. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.. ISBN: 978-1433119057.