Dwaipayan Banerjee

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Dwaipayan Banerjee
Dwaipayan Banerjee.JPG
Born (1983-01-21) January 21, 1983 (age 40)
West Bengal, India
  • B.A.
  • M.A.
  • M.Phil.
  • PhD
OccupationAssociate professor, MIT[1]
Years active2010 - present
  • Dipankar Banerjee (father)
  • Sandhya Banerjee (mother)

Dwaipayan Banerjee (born January 21, 1983) is an Indian sociocultural anthropologist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[2] He is an associate professor of Science, Technology and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3][4] Banerjee is a prolific researcher and has authored 2 books and multiple publications. Banerjee specialises in the anthropology of health and medicine,technology in South Asia.[5]

Banerjee has authored Enduring Cancer: Life, Death and Diagnosis in Delhi and Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India.[6] Banerjee is the recipient of several awards including The SHASS Levitan Prize by MIT, awarded to just one junior faculty member at MIT every year in recognition of the potential of their future research.[7]

Banerjee has addressed several university events and published multiple papers based on his research both online and offline.

Early life and education

Banerjee was born and brought up in a military family, which led him to grow up in different cities across India. He completed his high school education at the Doon School in Dehradun, India.

Banerjee pursued his bachelor’s degree from St. Stephen’s College and then completed a master’s program in Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics at Delhi University. After graduating in 2006, Banerjee did a year long M.Phil. course at the Delhi School of Economics and then shifted to New York University to pursue a PhD degree. In 2014, Banerjee graduated from New York University with a PhD in sociocultural anthropology.


After acquiring his doctorate degree from the New York University, Banerjee was awarded a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship to continue his research at Dartmouth College. He worked there for two years, and then was hired as an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016. Banerjee is known for work related to the Anthropology of Science, Anthropology of Health and Medicine, Science and Technology Studies, History and Politics of South Asia.[8]

Banerjee also received an advanced certificate in Culture in Media from New York University. He is a peer reviewer for multiple journals including the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Biosocieties, Contemporary South Asia, and Routledge amongst others. Banerjee is also a member of the Editorial Board of Medicine Anthropology Theory. He co-edits the ‘Position Pieces’ section of the journal.

Banerjee has authored two books and several publications throughout his career. His first book Hematologies: the political life of blood in India was released in 2019 by Cornell University Press.[9] Banerjee co-authored this book with a fellow anthropologist Jacob Copeman. This book focuses on how the act of giving and receiving blood shapes and is shaped by political life in South Asia.[10][11][12] His latest book Enduring Cancer: Life, Death and Diagnosis in Delhi was released by Duke University press in 2020.[13] This book by Banerjee is an ethnography of cancer. It describes how cancer unfolds in the daily lives of the urban poor of in Indian who struggle to cope with the disease and the health-system.

Banerjee is currently working on a new project on the Counter History of Computing in India. This project of Banerjee aims at tracking the historical and contemporary lives of computing technologies in the global south. It explores a long-ignored postcolonial history of indigenous computing in India from the 1950s to the present, tracing the shifting relationship between the Indian state, computing technologies and local and global capital markets over this period.

Banerjee’s research has been funded by a number of organisations including the Levitan Prize for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, The Humanities Initiative at NYU, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.[14]

Fellowships and honors

Banerjee has completed several fellowships during his career and has received the The SHASS Levitan Prize, MIT and Rice University Chair’s Lecture Prize in 2018 for his extraordinary work.[15]

Fellowship programs of Banerjee:

  • 2014 - Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Leslie Center for the Humanities
  • 2013 - The Humanities Initiative NYU Research Fellowship
  • 2011 - National Science Foundation Fellowship
  • 2011 - Wenner-Gren Foundation Fellowship
  • 2009 - Social Science Research Council DPDF Fellowship
  • 2007 - McCracken Fellowship, NYU
  • 2007 - SARAI-CSDS Independent Research Fellowship


Apart from his two books, Banerjee has also published several research papers that are:

  • Actual and potential gifts: Critique, shadow gift relations and the virtual domain of the ungiven.” with Jacob Copeman. Anthropology Theory, Online First. (Published in 2020)
  • Between Pandemia and Pandemonium. Social Text Online. (Published in 2020)
  • Fantasies of Control. The Caravan Magazine. (Published in 2020)
  • Cancer and Conjugality in Contemporary Delhi. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. (Published in 2019)
  • Cancer and Secrecy in Contemporary India. BioSocieties. (Published in 2018)
  • Analysis of Social Science Research Into Cancer Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Improving Global Cancer Control Through Greater Interdisciplinary Research with Carlo Caduff et al., Journal of Global Oncology. (Published in 2018)
  • Therapies Out of Reach: Anticancer Drugs and Global Trade Regimes. w. James Sargent, Science, Technology and Society. (Published in 2018)
  • Ungiven: Philanthropy as critique with Jacob Copeman, Modern Asian Studies. (Published in 2018)
  • Markets and Molecules: A Pharmaceutical Primer from the South. Medical Anthropology. (Published in 2016)
  • Writing the disaster: substance activism after Bhopal. Contemporary South Asia. (Published in 2013)
  • Assessing psychosocial distress: a pain audit at IRCH-AIIMS. w. Sushma Bhatnagar et al., Annals of Palliative Medicine. (Published in 2013)
  • Introduction: conceptions of the normal body. Social Research: An International Quarterly. (Published in 2011)

Personal life

Banerjee is passionate about film making and has produced several short films that are available on his personal website. His film The Beloved Witness on the Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali was nominated for the Best Short Documentary at the New York Indo-American Film Festival. He is also a accomplished pianist, having successfully completed all levels of the Practical Examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music.

In the media


Other media

  • "Dwaipayan Banerjee's Films". dwaibanerjee. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  • "Dwaipayan Banerjee | The Caravan". caravanmagazine.in. Retrieved 2020-08-24.


  1. "Dwaipayan Banerjee | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Academia.edu". mit.academia.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  2. "Dwaipayan Banerjee - Google Scholar". scholar.google.com. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  3. "Dwai Banerjee". MIT STS. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  4. "New faculty in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  5. "Dwaipayan Banerjee". New York University.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Enduring Cancer Life, Death, and Diagnosis in Delhi". DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Dwaipayan Banerjee receives 2019 Levitan Prize in the Humanities". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  8. ORCID. "Dwaipayan Banerjee (0000-0001-9786-796X)". orcid.org. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  9. "Blood and politics in India". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  10. York, The New School66 West 12th StreetNew; Ny 10011. "Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India". Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  11. Copeman, Jacob; Banerjee, Dwaipayan (2019-12-15). Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-1-5017-4511-9.
  12. York, The New School66 West 12th StreetNew; Ny 10011. "Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India". Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  13. "Dwai Banerjee - The Politics of Doubt: Living with Cancer in Contemporary India". Department of Anthropology. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  14. "MIT SHASS: Levitan Prize". shass.mit.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  15. News, Mirage (2019-06-11). "Dwaipayan Banerjee receives 2019 Levitan Prize in Humanities | Mirage News". www.miragenews.com. Retrieved 2020-08-24. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)

External link