New & Newsworthy


Although Dr. Purkayastha continues her leave as Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar in India during Spring 2017, she is slated to teach the Special Topics — Immigration graduate course for FALL SEMESTER 2017 for the Department of Sociology / SOCI 5895 – Section 2, which is described as follows:

Immigration has always been a terrain of struggle, shaped by forces of forces of inclusion and exclusion. What kinds of barriers and opportunities have different groups of migrants to the US—from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa– faced in the 20th and 21st centuries and why? We will focus on the scholarly analyses of power, privileges and marginalization that reflect intersecting dominant ideologies, interactions, and institutional arrangements in the 20th and 21st centuries, beginning with the formal bans on different groups of migrants in the early 20th century. This course will help you (a) to understand different types of migrants, ranging from highly skilled migrants and their families to those who are forced to migrate or are trafficked. (b) critically assess the frameworks that have been used by scholars, including assimilation (and its variants), transnationalism, human rights and security, (c ) the ways in which the migrants challenge and change the conditions in which they are enmeshed, and, (c) analyze some of the contemporary controversies surrounding documentation, immigrant religions, labor contributions, and human rights.

During the 2016 Fall Semester, Professor Purkayastha will be a visiting scholar at the Institute of Advanced Study at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India, partly as a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar.

In September and October, she gave the following invited talks at (1) University of Calcutta on “Decolonizing Methodologies” and (2) Jadavpur University (Kolkata) on “Interrogating Gender and Intersectionality: 21st Century Reflections”.

Rounding out her November schedule, she has been invited to address:

  • “Ethnicity: Negotiations and Resistances” on November 3, and “Migrants and Human Security: Contemporary Issues” on November 4, both talks to take place at Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur);
  • “Women and Religion” on November 7 at Jamia Milia University (Delhi) as a panelist with Philosophy Professor Asha Mukherjee of Santiniketan University;
  • “Water, Inequalities, Rights” / Fellow’s Talk on November 8, and “Migrants and Human Security: Methodological Challenges” on November 10, both to be delivered at JNU.



Publications / Human Rights

The Human Rights Enterprise: Political Sociology, State Power, and Social Movements (Polity Press, December 2014) with William Armaline and Davita Silfen Glasberg

Voices of Internally Displaced People in Kenya: A Human Rights Perspective (London & Kolkata: FrontPage Publications, 2014) with Roseanne Njiru (Bandana Purkayastha, series editor, Critical Debates on Human Rights)

Human Trafficking Amidst Interlocking Oppressions: A Focus on Pakistan (FrontPage Publications) with Farhan Yousaf (Bandana Purkayastha, series editor, Critical Debates on Human Rights)


Interview – Voice of America Broadcast / Human Rights Watch 2015 Report

On January 30, Professor Purkayastha was interviewed on Voice of American (in Bangla/Bengali language) about the Human Rights Watch 2015 Report.

The link to the story (in Bangla/Bengali language) is at


International Impact / Pakistan

Bandana Purkayastha has been invited to several scholarly conferences and presentations in Pakistan in November, 2014 funded through a travel grant from the American Institute for Pakistan Studies.

She will deliver a plenary session address on “Theoretical Approaches of Child Rights at the Conference on Child Rights to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Child Rights, organized by the Department of Sociology / Quaid I Azam University and Save the Children/CRM. Quaid I Azam is one of the premier post graduate universities in Pakistan.

Dr. Purkayastha will also lead a Workshop on Contemporary Trends and Problems of Sociological Methods (Department of Sociology, Quaid I Azam University); give a talk on Negotiating Ethnicity: Experiences of South Asian Americans (Center for South Asian Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore); and an additional talk on Human Rights (The Institute for Social and Cultural Studies University, of Punjab, Lahore).

During this time, she will meet with Hina Jilani, Advocate and former UN Special Rapporteur on rights of defenders, to further discuss policies on sex trafficking and with officials at the Fulbright office to present the Human Trafficking book (see above) co-authored with Farhan Yousaf (who is at UCONN on a Fulbright), and several other officials.