Dr. Pawan Dhingra (Ph.D. sociology) is Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty and is the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank ’55 Professor of U.S. Immigration Studies (American Studies Department) at Amherst College. He is Former Curator and Senior Advisor to the Smithsonian Institution’s Beyond Bollywood project. He is the current President of the Association for Asian American Studies and has been elected to other national leadership positions. His areas of expertise include immigration, education, parenting, entrepreneurship, race and inequality, identity, Asian America, and work.
Dr. Dhingra’s most recent book is Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough (New York University Press, May 2020). The book’s subject matter and Dr. Dhingra are featured in the Netflix documentary, Spelling the Dream, as well as with bylines in The New York Times, Time Magazine, CNN, and elsewhere on extracurricular academics, childhood, parenting, schools, anxiety, and the like.
He is also the author of the multiple award-winning Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream (Stanford University Press, 2012) and the award-winning Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities (Stanford University Press, 2007). He is the co-author of widely-used Asian America (Polity Press 2021, 2014), now in its second edition.
Dr. Dhingra has been featured in numerous media and academic outlets, including National Public Radio (All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Think, Truth Be Told, and many more), The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, PRI The World, Voice of America, Colorlines, Times of India, and many more. His public lectures include being a keynote speaker at the White House forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, the Embassy of India in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution, multiple universities, and elsewhere. He is the author of over a dozen published opinion pieces.
Before Amherst College, Dr. Dhingra was department chair and held tenured positions at Tufts University and Oberlin College, and was an Assistant Professor at Bucknell University. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University and a B.A. with Distinction and honors from Carleton College. Dr. Dhingra lives in Amherst, MA, with his wife and two sons. When not working, he might be coaching soccer, cooking (especially breakfast foods, Tex-Mex, or something pseudo-healthy), trying an exercise fad, or telling his kids to turn off the television. He enjoys teaching and the vigorous back and forth of classroom discussion.