Chencho Dema

A communication scholar and researcher, Dorji Wangchuk’s Doctorate of Philosophy dissertation titled “On Identity, Spirituality, Community and the Sacred Chronotope in Bhutan” was awarded the Dissertation of the Year 2023. 

It was awarded at the recently concluded conference of the National Communication Association in Washington DC – the world’s largest association of communication and social science scholars.

He received the award in the Religious Communication section.

The dissertation explores how identity is discursively constructed in and through mediated communication practices. As a research site, it moves progressively from the traditional to the hybrid to the cyber community.

He said, “I am obviously happy with this recognition, it is my hope and prayers that this award inspires the young Bhutanese scholars and postgraduate students who are currently pursuing their studies all over the world.”

“I invite them to take our country and themselves to greater heights in advancing knowledge and wisdom,” he said. 

His supervisor Professor Todd Sandel accepted the award in the meantime as he was unable to visit the US due to prior work commitments.

The award consists of a cash prize, a plaque, and a citation.

The University of Macau, where he received his PhD, nominated the work for the honour, saying, “This dissertation makes an important contribution to the study of religious communication.”

It further stated that although the focus of the study is Buddhism, the communicative practices that are explored are applicable to different faiths and societies.