Dr. Debjani Mukherjee

Dr. Debjani Mukherjee

Assistant Professor

Profile Summary

Dr. Debjani Mukherjee teaches Business Communication at the School of Business, UPES, with a career trajectory that spans academia, industry and entrepreneurship. She has a PhD in Media and Communications from the University of Auckland, NZ, an M.A. in Communications from the University of Leeds, UK, an M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University, and a postgraduate diploma in Film from SRFTI, Kolkata. She also runs her own independent media production company Red Earth Media, producing documentary films on environmental and human interest issues.

Work Experience

Before joining UPES, she taught at the University of Auckland, and prior to that held a Visiting Lecturer position at Tezpur Central University, Assam. She also held a research position at the School of Design, University of Ulster, United Kingdom, working on an EU-funded collaborative new media project that was part of a consortium of five European universities. In tandem she also had stints working in the media industry, as an executive producer in television and in production houses, finally founding and running her own independent production company Red Earth Media, which produces both commissioned as well as independently produced documentaries.

Research Interests

Her interests manifest in two strands of research. The first relates to her interest in the intersections between business, tech and sustainability - green technologies and innovation, digital technologies for sustainability. The second relates to her interest in the intersections between media, technology and culture, like new media screens and online social cultures, digital narratives and platforms, aesthetic and critical approaches to augmented/virtual/mixed reality – with a focus on designing research-informed reality tech for fostering environmental sustainability.

Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Mukherjee believes that in today’s post-globalized hyper-visual and connected world, effective communication is crucial to our individual, social and work experience. As a business communication faculty, she feels that an effective pedagogy is one that enables students to think critically and develop analytical writing and close reading skills, in addition to teaching them effective verbal and writing skills to express their ideas clearly and persuasively. She also believes that the desire and ability to inquire is at the heart of any learning, and the pedagogical potential of embodied or experiential learning lies in making the student alive to the learning process. She also believes that we learn better when it is tied to a task designed to fulfil a certain goal.

Courses Taught

She teaches Business Analysis and Communication across the MBA programmes in the School, and her teaching focus on gaining an understanding of the various communication strategies and critical skills in this global, diverse and multidisciplinary communication environment, on ways of using narrative and storytelling for business purposes and leveraging digital communication tools for effective influence. Her webinars on digital storytelling are structured to teach ways to understand the craft of storytelling and to use digital tools for effective communication. Earlier she has taught courses like Communication, Technology and Culture, Visual Communication, Introduction to Film, Political and Cultural Communication, Introduction to New Media, Introduction to Video Editing, Documentary and Creative Non-Fiction.

Awards and Grants

Dr. Mukherjee is the recipient of a UPES Seed Grant 2023 for her project “Animals in the city and the slow violence of becoming urban: A study of human-wildlife conflict in Uttarakhand”. She has earlier received a PBRF (Performance Based Research Fund) from the University of Auckland, as well as a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. She was also a recipient of the University of Leeds ICS Scholarship as well as a DFID India M.A. Scholarship.

Scholarly Activities

Her research is interdisciplinary. Her current research focuses on the intersection of media studies, urban studies, economics, and sociology of urban biodiversity and ways to leverage innovative tech for the purpose of biodiversity conservation. Her earlier research tracked the shift in India’s cinematic exhibition infrastructure and its attendant production and distribution network, drawing from cultural studies, business studies, urban studies and sociology, while another study used framing analysis to uncover the differing biases in newspaper reportage of insurgent activities of north-east India. She has also been part of multidisciplinary teams on an international collaborative project, working with academics, creatives, programmers and interface designers for the successful delivery of an interactive media project. Her earlier creative practice and entrepreneurial endeavour of producing documentaries has now come to align with her current academic concern with space and environment as critically contested concepts for understanding societies.