SUNY Oswego and Onondaga Community College to host visiting Fulbright scholar

OSWEGO, NY – SUNY Oswego and Onondaga Community College have been selected to host a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from India who will teach courses and engage with the Central New York community during the 2013-14 academic year.

Dr. Paula Banerjee, an associate professor of South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of Calcutta, was awarded the Fulbright grant by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to spend the coming fall semester at Oswego and the spring 2014 semester at Onondaga in Syracuse.

Dr. Paula Banerjee
Dr. Paula Banerjee

Banerjee is an expert in the areas of borders and border conflict, the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons, and women’s efforts as peacemakers. She will contribute to internationalization at SUNY Oswego, Onondaga and the Central New York community by teaching courses and collaborating with faculty on the two campuses, guest speaking at area universities and schools, conducting research, and engaging with both student and community groups, including Central New York’s large refugee population.

Banerjee is one of about 800 foreign faculty and professionals who will teach and pursue research in the United States through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program in 2013-14.

An activist-scholar, Banerjee researches and writes about ethnic and religious conflict, reports on dislocation and vulnerabilities, and organizes conferences to solicit solutions for ending conflict. Her work has received international attention and resulted in invitations to present her findings all over the world, including at the United Nations.

She has published extensively on issues of gender, forced migration and peace politics. Her recent publications include the 2013 book “Unstable Populations, Anxious States” and the 2011 volume titled “Women in Indian Borderlands.” She has published extensively in journals such as International Studies and the Journal of Borderlands Studies.

Banerjee is the editor of Refugee Watch and an editorial board member of Oxford University’s Journal on Refugee Studies. Currently she is president of the International Association for Study of Forced Migration. She earned her doctorate in history at the University of Cincinnati in 1993.

“The collaboration between SUNY Oswego and Onondaga to bring Dr. Banerjee to this region for a year will have immense benefits for both institutions in their efforts to meet the goals of the State University of New York to produce citizens of the world,” said Dr. Geraldine Forbes, distinguished teaching professor of history at SUNY Oswego.

Forbes has been instrumental in developing a long-term and multi-dimensional relationship with the University of Calcutta. She partnered with Dr. Emmanuel Awuah, Onondaga’s vice president for academic and global initiatives, in developing the proposal to bring Dr. Banerjee to their institutions.

At SUNY Oswego in the fall, Banerjee will teach two courses: HIS 370 [850]: “Refugees: Laws and Practices” and His 370 [860]: “Intractable Conflicts: Conflict and Peace in Africa, Middle East and South Asia.” At Onondaga during the spring semester, Banerjee will teach the capstone course in the Honors Program, guest lecture and work with faculty in the humanities and social sciences — specifically English/reading/communication, international studies, global studies, women’s studies, and interdisciplinary studies — to infuse material on India.

“Dr. Banerjee is an international expert and scholar on topics of great importance today around the world and right here in Central New York. We look forward to her residency at Onondaga this spring that will infuse students with the academic and theoretical aspects of global issues and provide them with insight into life on the ground for people experiencing these challenges,” Dr. Awuah said.

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, the program has given some 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit