Uttaran Dutta

Assistant Professor
TEMPE Campus


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.


  • Ph.D. Communication Studies, Purdue University 2013
  • Master of Design. Visual Communication Design, IIT Bombay, India 2006
  • M.B.A. Operations Management, India 2003
  • Bachelor of Engineering. Civil Engineering, India 2001

Google Scholar

Research Interests

intercultural communication, social change communication, international development and health, visual communication, folk culture, ICT4D.



Journal Articles

Dutta, U. (2019). Addressing 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. Download Link

Dutta, M., Pandi, A.R., Zapata, D. B., Mahtani, R., Falnikar, A,, Tan, N., Thaker. J., Pitaloka, D., Dutta, U., Luk, P. & Sun, K. (2019). Critical health communication method as embodied practice of resistance: Culturally centering structural transformation through struggle for voice. Frontiers in Communication (Health Communication), 4, 67. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2019.00067. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2019). Design engagements at the margins of the Global South: De-centering the “Expert” within me. Sustainability, 11(20), 5675. Download 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. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2019). Indigenous health organizing at the margins: Creating access to health by building health infrastructure. Health CommunicationDownload Link

Dutta, U. (2019). Protecting sacred-groves: Community-led environmental organizing by Santhals of eastern India. Environmental CommunicationDownload Link

Dutta, U. (In Press). Gender inequality and rural employment generation program in India. International Journal of Communication & Social Research.

Dutta, U., & Dutta. M.J. (2019). Songs of the Bauls: Voices from the margins as transformative infrastructures. Religions, 10(5), 335. Download Link

Dutta, U., Ali, S.R., & Ahmad, N. (2019). Relevance and values of Gandhi’s and Bacha Khan’s moral education in negotiating/addressing situated disparities of South Asia. Education Sciences9(2), 108. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2019). Digital preservation of Indigenous culture and narratives from the Global South: In search of an approach. Humanities8(2), 68. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2019). Sufi and Bhakti performers and followers at the margins of the Global South: Communication strategies to negotiate situated adversities. Religions10(3), 206. Download Link

Dutta, U., Cheong, P. H., & Shuter. R. (2018). Contemporary Gurus in Indian Classrooms: Changing Professorial Authority and Cultural Tensions in Managing Digital Connectivity. International Journal of Communication12, 1369–1388. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2018).Negotiating structural absences: Voices of indigenous subalterns of eastern India. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research. 47(1), 52-71. Download Link

Shuter, R., Dutta, U., Cheong, P., Chen, Y., & Shuter, J. (2018). Digital Behavior of University Students in India and the US: Cultural Values and Communication Technologies in the Classroom. Western Journal of Communication82(2), 160-180. Download Link

Dutta, M., Sastry, S., Dillard, S., Kumar, R., Anaele, A., Collins, W., Roberson, C., Dutta, U., Jones, C., Gillespie, T., & Spinetta, C. (2017). Narratives of Stress in Health Meanings of African Americans in Lake County, Indiana. Health communication32(10), 1241-1251. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2016). Adivasi media in India: Relevance and contribution in legitimizing marginalized voices. Intercultural Communication Studies, XXV(3), 213-231. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2016). Designing for the underserved: My reflections. Design for All, 11(12), 13-20. (Invited [non-peer reviewed] publication) Download Link

Dutta, U., & Das, S. (2015). Digital divide at the margins: Co-designing information solution to address needs of indigenous populations of rural India. Communication Design Quarterly, 4(1), 36-48. (Co-authored with a student) Download Link

Dutta, U. (2015). Questioning dominant development practices: Emerging articulations of indigenous subalterns from the margins. Journal of International Communication.  21(2), 169-188.  Download Link

Dutta, M. J. & Dutta, U. (2013). Voices of the poor from the margins of Bengal: Structural inequities and health. Qualitative Health Research, 23 (1), 14-25. Download Link

Handbook Chapters

Dutta, U., & Martin, J. N. (In Press). Sociological Approaches to Intercultural Communication: Exploring the “Silent Zones”. In G. Rings (Ed.) The Cambridge handbook of intercultural communicationDownload Link

Dutta, U., & Martin, J. N. (2017). Theoretical perspectives on communication and cultures. In L. Chen (Ed.) Intercultural communication. (pp. 45- 66). Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. Download Link

Book Chapters

Dutta, U. (2020). Portrayal of Women in Hand-Painted Visual Discourses on the Streets of India. In T. Herdin, M. Faust & G.-M. Chen (Eds.) De-Westernizing Visual Culture: Perspectives from the Global South (pp. 125-142). NOMOS. Download Link

Dutta, U. & Ghosh, M. (2020). The road ahead. In M. Ghosh (Ed.), Design and ecology of the built environment: A focus on the Global South (pp. 563-568). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Download Link

Sen, S., & Dutta, U. (2017). They came by boat: The 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai. In A. M. George, K. Kwansah-Aidoo (Eds.) Culture and crisis communication: Transboundary cases from nonwestern perspectives (pp. 119- 135). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. Download Link

Dutta, M. J., Dillard, S., Kumar, R., Sastry, S., Jones, C., Anaele, A., Dutta, U., Collins, W., Okoror, T., & Robinson, C. (2013). Relational tensions in academic-community partnerships in the culture-centered approach (CCA): Negotiating communication in creating spaces for voices. In M. J. Dutta & G. Kreps (Eds.) Reducing health disparities: Communication interventions (pp. 457-478). New York: Peter Lange. Download Link

Encyclopedia Entries

Dutta, U. (2019). Development. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2019). Indigenous Rights. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2017). Intercultural Communication Studies in India. The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Download Link

Dutta, U. (2015). Design Problems. The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design

Dutta, U. (2015). Social Relations. The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design

Dutta, U. (2014). Change Agentry. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence

Research Activity


Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
COM 494 Special Topics
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
COM 604 Theory Construction in Comm
COM 691 Seminar
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
COM 604 Theory Construction in Comm
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
COM 407 Adv Critical Methods in Comm
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
COM 407 Adv Critical Methods in Comm
COM 604 Theory Construction in Comm
Summer 2017
Course Number Course Title
COM 499 Individualized Instruction
COM 590 Reading and Conference
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
COM 263 Elements Intercultural Comm
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
COM 463 Intercultural Comm Theory/Rsch
COM 691 Seminar