Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Lang Visiting Professorship for Issues of Social Change

Endowed by Eugene M. Lang ’38, the Lang Visiting Professorship brings to Swarthmore outstanding social scientists, political leaders, and social activists whose careers demonstrate sustained engagement with major issues of social justice, civil liberties, human rights, and democracy. Along with the sponsoring academic department, the Lang Visiting Professorship is co-hosted by the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Current Lang Visiting Professor

Denise CrossanDenise Crossan, a professor of social entrepreneurship, will continue to serve as the Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change in 2019-2020. From Fall Semester 2019, Professor Crossan will deliver a new two semester Engaged Scholarship course, "PEAC060A&B: Social Innovation for Peace". 

Swarthmore students will collaborate with international peace and conflict Social Entrepreneur partners in Colombia, Northern Ireland, and Japan to co-design and deliver a reciprocal learning social innovation project that works toward addressing the legacy of conflict in their respective communities. The learning goals for the course are:

  • To gain a deep inter-disciplinary insight into the post-conflict context; examining the historical, social, economic, political and cultural dynamics of post-conflict communities,
  • Understand post-conflict community relations; stakeholders, players, influencers and leaders for peace.
  • Explore peace processes and programs from a policy and infrastructure perspective and its effect on building community responses.
  • Understand and explore the role of social innovation and social entrepreneurship as a process for building peace in post-conflict communities
  • Gain insight and experience in project planning; using Design Thinking methodologies and project management to co-design, develop, and deliver social innovation prototypes in an international context.

At the beginning of the course in Fall Semester, students will be matched with a Social Entrepreneur partner in-country, and through classes, case study analysis, and peer learning discussion, will begin to identify,  develop, and prototype solutions to critical post-conflict related issues. During Winter Break and over summer, students will spend time in-country working directly with their current community partners to test their solution prototypes.

This is a 2-credit class, delivered over two semesters and requires a commitment to Winter and Summer break international travel. Students who start the PEAC 060A in Fall 2019 must complete PEAC 060B in Spring 2020 to receive credit for PEAC060A.  Places are limited and applicants will be interviewed prior to class registration. For details contact Professor Denise Crossan at

The "Social Innovation for Peace" Program is delivered in partnership with the Peace & Conflict Studies program,  the Social Innovation Lab at the Lang Center, and sponsored by the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Previous Eugene M. Lang ‘38 Visiting Professors [pdf].