Professor Mohan Dutta Wins Prestigious Charles H. Woolbert Research Award and Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association

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Mohan J. Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication at Massey University and Director of the CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation C, recently received the 2020 Charles H. Woolbert Research Award and the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association (NCA). Given annually, the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award honors a journal article or book chapter that has stood the test of time and has become a stimulus for new conceptualizations of communication phenomena. Dr. Dutta was recognized for the article, “Communicating about Culture and Health: Theorizing Culture-Centered and Cultural Sensitivity Approaches,” published in Communication Theory in 2007. Dr. Dutta’s paradigm-shifting critical-theoretical and applied intervention into health communication contexts and practices, addresses structural inequalities and centers the voices of those struggling on global margins. “Communicating about Culture and Health” changed the discipline, expanded cross-disciplinary and cross-methodological collaboration, and influenced curricula in medical schools as well as clinical practice.

Cited more than 600 times, in more than a dozen languages, on every continent, this article has directly shaped projects benefitting “marginalized communities around the world, ranging from immigrant, African American, and First Nations communities in the United States and Canada, to migrant workers communities throughout South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, to minoritized communities in South Africa, South America, and more.”The Golden Anniversary Monograph Award is given annually to honor the most outstanding scholarly monograph(s) published during the previous calendar year. Dr. Dutta was recognized for the article, “‘Communication sovereignty’ as Resistance: Strategies Adopted by Women Farmers Amid the Agrarian Crisis in India,” published in the Journal of Applied Communication Research in 2019 with Dr. Jagadish Thaker. Drs. Dutta and Thaker’s article is based on five years of participatory research with women farmers in southern India. The article highlights how women from oppressed caste communities in southern India come together to organize for increased economic and political power. The intervention that this article develops and emerges from addresses one of the most pressing issues of our time: food.“NCA’s annual awards honor communication scholars’ teaching, scholarship, and service,” NCA Executive Director Trevor Parry-Giles said. “NCA is proud to recognize Dr. Dutta’s significant contributions to the Communication discipline with this award.”Dr. Dutta’s award will be presented virtually on November 21 at the NCA 106th Annual Convention. For more information about NCA’s awards program, visit

About the National Communication Association:

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion.

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