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Prema Kurien

Prema Kurien

Contact Information:

pkurien@syr.edu

315.443.1152

317 Maxwell Hall

Prema Kurien

Professor, Sociology Department


Director, Senior Research Associate and Advisory Board Member, South Asia Center

Senior Research Associate, Sovereignty, Order and Conflict Working Group

Senior Research Associate, Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry

Senior Research Associate, Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration

Courses

  • 2024 Spring
    • MAX 132 Global Community
    • SOC 618 Introduction to Field Research and Interviewing
  • 2023 Fall
    • MAX 132 Global Community
  • 2023 Spring
    • SOC 618 Introduction to Field Research and Interviewing
  • 2022 Fall
    • MAX 132 Global Community
    • SOC 800 Selected Topics - International Migration
  • 2022 Spring
    • MAX 132 Global Community
    • SOC 406 Sociological Theory

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Brown University, 1993

Bio

All my work to date has focused on immigrant agency—the ways in which immigrants and their children try to reshape their environments, as individuals and as groups, rather than merely adapting to it. My recent research examines the ways in which immigrants get civically and politically engaged around community concerns. I focus particularly on how race, religion and group differences interact with the socio-political structures and cultures of the North American context to impact patterns of activism and advocacy.

I have received postdoctoral fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center, the Carnegie Corporation, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Louisville Institute, and the New Ethnic and Immigrant Congregations Project. My work has been recognized with a Contribution to the Field award, three national book awards and three national article awards.

Areas of Expertise

Immigrants and immigration, religion, ethnicity, immigrant politics, India

Research Grant Awards and Projects

"Cornell-Syracuse FLAS Consortium 2022 - 2026", Sponsored by Department of Education.

"Cornell-Syracuse NRC Comprehensive Consortium 2022 - 2026", Sponsored by Department of Education.

"Is Corruption in the Receiving Country a Barrier or Incentive for Entrepreneurial Migrants?: The Case of Chinese in Ghana:_Doctoral Dissertation", Sponsored by American Sociological Association.

"Foreign Language and Area Studies 2018 - 2022", Sponsored by Department of Education.

"National Resource Center 2018 - 2022", Sponsored by Department of Education.

Selected Publications

  • Books
    • Kurien, P. A., Ethnic Church Meets Mega Church: Indian American Christianity in Motion. New York University Press, 2017.
    • Kurien, P. A., A Place at the Table: Multiculturalism and the Development of an American Hinduism. Rutgers University Press, 2007.
    • Kurien, P. A., Kaleidoscopic Ethnicity: International Migration and the Reconstruction of Community Identities in India. Rutgers University Press, 2002.
  • Journal Articles
    • Kurien, P. A., "Indian American versus South Asian American Advocacy Organizations: Diasporic Political Activism in the U.S.." South Asian Diaspora, 2022.
    • Kurien, P. A., "The Racial Paradigm and Dalit Anti-Caste Mobilization in the U.S.." Social Problems, 2022.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Religion as Social Location: Global and Comparative Perspectives." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2022.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Culture-free Religion: New Second-Generation Muslims and Christians." Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2021.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Women and South Asian Hinduism and Islam: In the Subcontinent and the Diaspora." Contemporary South Asia, 2021.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Shifting U.S. Racial and Ethnic Identities and Sikh American Activism." RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 2018.
    • Kurien, P. A., "South Asian Migration, Settlement, and Socio-political Incorporation on the North American West Coast." AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. Policy, Practice and Community, 2018.
  • Book Chapters
    • Kurien, P. A., "Indian Religions in the United States." In Routledge Handbook of South Asian Religions. Jacobsen, K. (ed.) Routledge, 2020.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Intergenerational Differences within Indian Christian Churches in the United States." In Diaspora Christianities: Global Scattering of South Asian Christians. George, S. (ed.) Fortress Press, 2019.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Contemporary Ethno-Religious Groups and Political Activism in the United States." In Religion and Politics in the U.S.. McGraw, B. (ed.) Wiley-Blackwell (Companion Series), 2016.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Hinduism in North America." In Hinduism in the Modern World. Hatcher, B. (ed.) Routledge, 2015.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Religious Life in the Malayali Diaspora: Hindus and Christians in the United States." In Malayali Diaspora: From Kerala to the Ends of the Earth. George, S., Thomas, T. V. (eds.) Serials Publications, 2013.
    • Kurien, P. A., "What is American about American Hinduism? Hindu Umbrella Organizations in the U.S. in Comparative Perspective." In Public Hinduisms. Zavos, J., Kanungo, P., Reddy, D., Warrier, M. and Williams, R. B. (eds.) Sage Publications, 2012.
    • Kurien, P. A., "South Asian Christian Diaspora: Invisible Diaspora in Europe and North America." In Nordic Journal of Religion and Society. Jacobsen, K. A., Raj, S. J. (eds.) , 2010.
  • Commentaries
  • Encyclopedia Entries
    • Kurien, P. A., "Reinventions of Hinduism." In Encyclopedia of Religion and American Cultures. Laderman, G., Leon, L. (eds.) ABC-CLIO, 2003.
    • Kurien, P. A., "Hinduism and Sikhism." In Encyclopedia of American Immigration. Ciment, J. (ed.) M.E. Sharpe, 2001.
  • Research Report
    • Kurien, P. A., Constructing ‘Indianness’ in the United States and India: The Role of Hindu and Muslim Indian Immigrants. Southern California Studies Center, 1997.
  • Working Papers
    • Kurien, P. A., "Constructing ‘Indianness’ in the United States and India: The Role of Hindu and Muslim Indian Immigrants." Southern California Studies Center Research Report, 1997.
    • Cortina, R., Doumato, E., Hollos, M., Kurien, P. A. and Rueschemeyer, M., "Sojourner Migration and Gender Roles: A Comparison of Two Ethnic Communities in Kerala, India." In Continuity and Change: Women at the Close of the Twentieth Century. , 1992.

Presentations and Events

Annual Meeting, American Sociological Association, Philadephia. , "Book forum for Tahseem Shams, Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (August 20, 2023)

Annual Meeting, American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, "Should Caste be Legally Recognized in the U.S.?" (August 19, 2023)

UC Riverside 8th International Sikh Studies Conference, "Explaining Different Public Profiles of Sikhs in Canada and the U.S." (May 5, 2023 - May 6, 2023)

Symposium on Caste and Stratification, Sociology department, McGill University, "Should Caste be Legally Recognized in North America" (April 27, 2023)

International Forum on Religions, Rome. Virtual presentation, "Hinduism in the United States" (March 2, 2023)

AAARI-CUNY Virtual Talk, "From India to the United States: Perspectives on Race" (December 9, 2022)

Annual Meeting, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, "Race, Religion and South Asian American Voters in the 2020 U.S. Elections" (November 11, 2022 - November 13, 2022)

“Politics Across Borders: Progressive Activism and the Far Right in Multinational Communities.” Mellon Sawyer Seminar, Rutgers University, "Indian American Political Activism" (October 27, 2022)

Workshop on Asian Americans, Religious Freedom, and the State, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, "Should Caste be Legally Recognized in the U.S." (September 29, 2022 - September 30, 2022)

Sociology Department, Princeton University, "Being South Asian in Asian America: We Don’t Count!" (April 28, 2022)

Sociology department. Stony Brook University, "The Racial Paradigm and Anti-Caste Activism in the U.S." (April 11, 2022)

International Studies Program, The College of New Jersey, "The Racial Paradigm and Anti-Caste Activism in the U.S." (March 25, 2022)

Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, "Religious Minorities in the US and Canada: Divergent Patterns of Political Involvement and Activism" (March 10, 2022)

Chacko, Chaudhuri, Ebenezer, Purkayastha. Boston Area Migration Workshop, "Analyzing Indian and Asian Indian migrant worker experiences during Covid-19 pandemic across space and occupational structure" (March 4, 2022)

Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies, "Activism Patterns of the Indian American Diaspora" (February 23, 2022)

Presidential Address, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, "Religion as Social Location: Global and Comparative Perspectives" (October 23, 2021)

American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, "Indian American versus South Asian American Political Mobilization" (August 7, 2021)

American Sociological Association Annual Conference, "Transnational Social Movements and the Dilemma of Dissonant Frames: The Racial Paradigm and Anti-Caste Activism in the Diaspora" (August, 2020)

Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, "The Transnational Anti-Caste Movement and the Black Paradigm: Dalit Rights Activism in the U.S." (October 19, 2019)

American Sociological Association Annual Conference, "Religion in the U.S. Anti-Caste Movement" (August 12, 2019)

Sixth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture, "Different Narratives in Religion and American Politics" (June 8, 2019)

Sociology Colloquium, Northwestern University., "The Transnational Anti-Caste Movement and the Black Paradigm: Dalit Rights Activism in the United States" (April 11, 2019)

Eastern Sociological Society Meeting, "Studying Immigrant Religions" (March 15, 2019)

Sociology Colloquia, Rutgers University, "Race, Religion, and Citizenship: Indian American Political Advocacy" (March 13, 2019)

Previous Teaching Appointments

President-Elect, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion 2019-2020, President 2020-2021
Past Chair, Department of Sociology (2017-2020)
Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor (2014-2015), CUNY
Founding Director, Asian/Asian American Studies

Honors and Accolades

Sandra Barnes Anti-Racist Scholarship Award , Sociology of Religion Section, American Sociological Association (2023)

Appleby Mosher Faculty award, Maxwell School, Syracuse University (2022 - 2023)

Appleby Mosher award, Maxwell School, Syracuse University (2021 - 2022)

Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, Syracuse University (2021)

Limited Submissions 2021 NEH Summer Stipend Competition, Syracuse University (2021)

Program award, National Science Foundation, Sociology (2015 - 2020)