The Eugene M. Lang '38 Visiting Professorship for Issues of Social Change

NEW The Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change in 2015-2016 will be Denise Crossan, a professor of social entrepreneurship and director of the initiative on social entrepreneurship at Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro, Lang Visiting Professor 2013-2015

Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro, Lang Visiting Professor 2012-2015

Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro is the Lang Professor for Issues of Social Change at Swarthmore College, and Policy Advisor for Environmental Justice at Nuestras Raíces, Inc. in Holyoke, Massachusetts. She has published widely on the intersections of environmental science and policy, with a focus on social and economic disparities and human rights. She is co-editor of the volume Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power and is completing a book titled Embodied Ecologies: Science, Politics, and Environmental Justice. Embodied Ecologies focuses on di Chiro's concepts of "embodied" or "situated" environmental science and community-based environmental justice activism. Di Chiro is a member of an international research collaborative (headquartered at the Institute for Social Science, Erasmus University, The Hague) focusing on Social Justice, Globalisation and Sustainability, and currently works with local organizations in Philadephia and Chester, Pennsylvania, supporting community-based sustainable development and climate justice partnerships. At Swarthmore, her host department is Political Science, and her interdisciplinary courses are cross-listed through the departments of Political Science, Sociology & Anthropology, English, as well as the Environmental Studies and Gender and Sexuality Programs. Di Chiro recently led a delegation of students to the International Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru.  

Courses Taught

Professor, Di Chiro has taught the following courses while at Swarthmore College:

  • Political Science 43B: Environmental Justice: Theory and Action
  • Sociology & Anthropology 20M: Race, Gender and Environment
  • Environmental Studies 92B: Sustainable Community Action


2012-15 Giovanna Di Chiro, Environmental Studies

  • Giovanna Di Chiro, scholar of environmental science and policy, with focus on economic inequality, human rights, and community-based approaches to social justice.

2010-12 Louis Massiah, Black Studies & Film and Media Studies

  • award winning film-maker and founder and executive director of the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia.

2009-10 Ana Celia Zentella, Linguistics

  • Ana Celia Zentella, anthro-political linguist and recognized leader in building appreciation for language diversity and respect for language rights

2006-09 George Lakey, Peace & Conflict Studies

  • George Lakey, leader in the field of nonviolent social change since the 1960s and founder and executive director of Training for Change

2005-06 Herbert Kohl, Educational Studies

  • Herbert Kohl, visionary educational activist and author of influential text 36 Children

2002-03 Sulak Sivarasksa, Religion

  • Sulak Sivaraksa, an engaged Buddhist activist from Thailand

2001-02 Music & Dance; Computer Science, Modern Languages

  • Jacek Luminsky, Music and Dance, internationally acclaimed Polish choreographer
  • Eric Roberts, Computer Science, from Stanford University, renown for his contributions to computer science education.
  • Gerty Dambury, Modern Languages-poet, playwright, and theater director

2000-01 Denis Halliday, Peace & Conflict Studies

  • Denis Halliday H'02, former head of United Nations humanitarian programs who resigned his position in protest against the effects of sanctions against Iraq.

2000-01 Linda Gordon, History and Women's Studies

  • Linda Gordon, social historian specializing in gender and family issues.

1999-00 Peace and Conflict Studies; Computer Science

  • Denis Halliday, Peace  and Conflict Studies.
  • Eric Roberts, Computer Science, from Stanford University, renown for contributions to computer science education

1998-99 Peyton McCrary, Political Science

  • Peyton McCrary, historian with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.

1997-98 Peter Taylor, Biology

  • Peter Taylor, a biologist specializing in modeling behavior, population genetics, and evolutionary stability.

1996-97 John Baugh, Sociology/Anthropology and Linguistics

  • John Baugh, director of the Center for African and African-American Studies at Washington University, St. Louis, and a linguist honored for his work on Black American speech.

1995-96 Paul Platero, Linguistics

  • Paul Platero, linguist specializing in Athabaskan languages

1994-95 Luis Camacho, Philosophy

  • Luis Camacho, philosopher and president of the Costa Rican Philosophical Association, known for examining the relations between science, technology and development.

1993-94 Sue-Ellen Case, Theater and English Literature

  • Sue-Ellen Case, a past editor of Theater Journal who published widely in the fields of German theater, feminism and theater, performance theory, and lesbian critical theory.

1992-93 Sociology; Political Science

  • Arlie Hochschild, Sociology and Anthropology. University of California-Berkeley leading sociologist who examines market culture's effects on everyday life, the dynamics of work and family, gender and labor and emotion.
  • Nadinne Cruz, Political Science. Nadinne Cruz, author, speaker, activist, and expert in service learning.

1991-92 Carol Cohn, Sociology and Anthropology

  • Carol Cohn, director of the Boston Consortium on Gender Security and Human Rights.

1990-91 Uri Treisman, Mathematics & Statistics

  • Uri Treisman, mathematician acclaimed for demonstrating strategies for high achievement in math and the sciences by women and minority students.

1989-90 Sociology and Anthropology; Mathematics and Statistics

  • Herman Blake, Sociology and Anthropology, esteemed educator and higher education administrator.
  • Uri Treisman, Mathematics & Statistics.