Priya Kapoor

Associate Professor


Dr. Kapoor is on leave during the Spring 2021 term.


Critical Theory and Cultural Studies; Intercultural Communication; South Asia; Social movements; Media; Textual and Field Research methods.


My research engages the multicultural moment where culture and culture industries (that generate popular culture) are not simply articulated in aesthetic terms but take into account social justice, community mobilization, transnational turns, and a wide media landscape of not just commercial and mass forms but local and social media. Gender, race, nation, and socio-economic class are a key presence in my research and teaching. These intersections remain, in the field of Critical/Cultural Studies, a key focus of theorization, and my primary research interest.

My expertise in research methods spans the critical and qualitative spectrum, namely, Ethnographies: I have conducted critical, feminist, media audience-centered ethnographic studies; Qualitative cross-cultural field research in conflict communication and organizational contexts; Textual and media analysis, especially critical discourse analysis.

Community radio in India and South Asia is one research direction since 2004. The confluence of regional social movements, identity, gender, global debates on the digital divide and contemporary nationalisms, have politically mobilized local youth and civil society to create radio centers in rural and urban India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. An edited volume on the transnational trajectories of community media is in the works. I am currently analyzing taped and transcribed conversations collected over two years for an audience-based critical/qualitative study of how global audiences in the US understand the war on terror in the context of select Bollywood film. Additionally, I am working collaboratively with students on a critical discourse analysis of court trial documents and the coverage in local newspapers of homegrown terrorism and the entrapment of a local Somali immigrant.

A recent publication (A genealogy of Occupy within transnational contexts and Communication research, 2013) charts the historical and political connections between seemingly unrelated social movements such as Chipko in India with Zapatismo in Mexico. This publication also makes a case for theorizing social movements, in the field of Communication. Another publication (Communicating the local discursively: Devi, the divine feminine as a contemporary symbol for grassroots feminist politics, 2014) argues for creation of indigenous assemblages for feminist political activism, such as the familiar figure of the devi or goddess in India, thereby minimizing its appropriation in religious and other nationalisms.

Civic engagement and the dialectic of local and global is important to my pedagogy and I connect students to community based organizations in my CBL courses or by arrangement. Students are volunteers in learning gardens in the city, homeless communities, public health facilities, women’s resource centers and community refugee and immigrant service organizations among others. 


  • INTL 360 Bollywood: Understanding Contemporary South Asia Thru Film
  • INTL 380 Globalization, Representation and Difference in Media and Film
  • INTL 415 Global Studies Theories
  • INTL 471 Understanding the Intl Experience
  • Comm 326 Communication, Society, and Culture
  • Comm 415/515 Problems of Intercultural Communication
  • Comm 452/552 Gender and Race in the Media