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Massey staff honoured with prestigious communication awards


Two women farmers of the community media centre recording a focus group discussion about a CARE campaign.

Two women farmers of the community media centre recording a focus group discussion about a CARE campaign. 


Mohan Dutta

Mohan Dutta.

Jagadish Thaker

Jagadish Thaker.



Professor Mohan J. Dutta and senior lecturer Jagadish Thaker of the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing have won the prestigious Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association (NCA).

The Golden Anniversary Monograph Award is given annually to honour the most outstanding scholarly monograph (a detailed written study of a single specialized subject or an aspect of it) published during the previous calendar year.

The pair were recognised for their 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 . 

The article reports from three years of participatory research with women farmers in southern India and 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.

Professor Dutta, Dean's Chair Professor of Communication at Massey University and Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), also won the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award.

Given annually, the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award honours a journal article or book chapter that has stood the test of time and has become a stimulus for new conceptualisations of communication phenomena.

Professor 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 “marginalised 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.”

“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.”

In addition, Professor Dutta received the Dale E Brashers Distinguished Mentor Award that recognizes significant contributions to the field of health communication through mentorship of and advocacy for the discipline and its members, and the Distinguished Book Award for his book Communicating Health that lays the foundation of the culture-centered approach. The Distinguished Book Award recognizes research that has made or offers the promise of making, a significant contribution to scholarship in Health Communication theory, research, and/or practice.

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 http://www.natcom.org/awards/.

For a copy of ‘Communication sovereignty’ as Resistance: Strategies Adopted by Women Farmers Amid the Agrarian Crisis in India, please email jthaker@massey.ac.nz.


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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