Dr. Pawan Dhingra (Ph.D. sociology) is Professor of American Studies and Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Amherst College. He is Former Curator and Senior Advisor to the Smithsonian Institution’s Beyond Bollywood project. 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 in The New York Times, on extracurricular academics, childhood, parenting, schools, anxiety, spelling bees, math competitions, Kumon, 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: Sociological and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Polity Press 2014), with its second edition forthcoming.
Dr. Dhingra has been recognized in numerous academic and media outlets, including The New York Times, National Public Radio (All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Truth Be Told, regional stations), 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, and more.
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.