Youth participatory action research, Critical community psychology, Conflict transformation and peacebuilding, Northeast India/South Asia
Informed by a critical social justice agenda, Urmitapa Dutta’s research focuses broadly on marginalization. Her research aims to understand and address marginality where it is intimately connected to violence. Urmitapa’s 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 ‘everyday peace’. 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, Urmitapa’s future research will simultaneously focus on developing participatory action research projects with young people from marginalized contexts in the Lowell area.
Ph.D. - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign