Bandana Purkayastha

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies


Bandana Purkayastha is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut. She holds a joint appointment in Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies, and serves as the Associate Dean for Social Sciences, Regional Campuses, and Community Engagement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  She was elected as Vice President of National Associations at the International Sociological Association (2023-2027).

My current research interests focus on gender and intersectionality, migration and migrants, transnationalism, human rights/human security, and violence and peace. My research, mentoring and leadership in the field has been recognized through many national awards.  The co-edited book (with William Armaline and Davota Silfen Glasberg) on human rights in the US, was awarded the Gordon Hirabayashi book award in 2013 by the Human Rights section of American Sociological Association (ASA). ASA/Asia and Asian American section recognized my work through the Contributions to the Field (career) award in 2016;  and UCONN College of Liberal Arts and Sciences conferred the Research Excellence for social science in 2019.   I was American Sociological Association’s 2019 Jessie Bernard award co-winner ( ) “in recognition of scholarly work, inclusive of research teaching, mentoring and service, that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.”


I am currently working on four main projects.  The first project, supported by an SSRC grant (2020-2022), is with Dr Soma Chaudhuri (Michigan State University), Dr Elizabeth Chacko (George Washington University), and an interdisciplinary, international team of scholars– sociologists, geographers, economists and historians from India and the US–on migrants and precarity during the current pandemic.  A second project, with Dr. Anjana Narayan (California State University Pomona), was funded by a Global Religion Research Initiative grant through Notre Dame, and convened scholars from the US, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, for a research study of highly educated women living Hinduism and Islam within contemporary local-national-transnational contexts.  A third project focuses on Water, Inequalities and Rights. In 2016-2017, I was in India, first as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at JNU, India, and, later, at the University of Hyderabad, India, supported by a senior Fulbright Nehru professional excellence award, to gather data for this project.  A fourth project, funded by a combined UCONN Institutes grant, with Professor Marysol Asencio (Sociology & El Instituto, UCONN), is a Connecticut-focused study tracing how recent migrant groups have fared in one of the richest states of the US.

I continue to write about migrants, human rights, human insecurity and attempt to dismantle knowledge hierarchies.  In 2019, I co-edited a collection on Indian transnationalism, with Ajaya Sahoo (2019), and co-authored  Human Trafficking: Trade for Sex, Labor and Organs (with Farhan Navid Yousaf.  I edited a special issue of Current Sociology on Migration, Migrants, and Human Rights (2018), and guest edited Feminisms and Gender in the Indian Diasporas for Economic and Political Weekly (EPW’s April 27, 2019 ).


I have been fortunate to get so many opportunities to work with a variety of graduate and undergraduate students.  A recent international effort of teaching beyond walls spearheaded at JNU, India, appears at  I have also worked with post–doctoral scholars, including Woodrow Wilson scholar (Dr. Sylvanna Falcon 2014); and CV Raman scholar Dr Anurekha Chari Wagh (University of Hyderabad).  I have been recognized for teaching and mentoring, including the Sociology graduate students’ Best Mentor award three times (a record), the AAUP and the Connecticut State legislature recognition for teaching promise (2001), the UCONN Alumni teaching excellence award (2010), the ASA-Asia and Asian American Section’s teaching excellence award (2009), and, Sociologists for Women in Society’s 2018 Mentoring award.  I was also nominated by South African sociologists, and was recognized through for the South African S.H.E Foundation—women who inspire–awards in 2020.


Headshot for Bandana Purkayastha
Contact Information
Phone860 486-3791
Curriculum Vitae Purkayastha_202307_CV
Office Location218 Manchester Hall