Ethnic Studies Institute

West Chester University

Dr. Bonita Freeman-Witthoft, Director
Ethnic Studies Institute
Department of Anthropology & Sociology
101-C Old Library
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: (610) 436-2725

WCU Ethnic Studies Seminars are held monthly in the Autograph Library in Phillips Hall. The seminars are free and open to anyone interested in expanding their world view. Speakers come from various WCU departments as well as from off-campus to share their experiences and expertise through both lecture and discussion. In addition we list below many campus events addressing race and ethnicity.


Seminar Series


Thursday, October 15, 2015:

"I See (Socially) Dead People”: Our Sixth Sense that Haunts “Black” Urban Teens in Sweden and the U.S."

          Dr. Lory Dance, Associate Professor of Sociology and
            Institute for Ethnic Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

                    12:30 - 1:30 pm

            Phillips Hall Lower Level Conference Room          

Dr. Dance grounds scholarly discourses about Social Death in interviews with marginalized teens from Sweden and the U.S. in Swedish and American newspaper (mis)representations of these teens as dangerous. Framing youth as "thugs" or "gangs" or "dangerous" can diminish support for potential reforms by deflecting responsibility from school systems to the youth. This can perpetuate a cycle of "dead ends" wherein the ascription of the teens as hopeless confirms their status as "dead" through structural regimes of self-fulfilling prophecies. An alternative approach —one that sees them as alive and fully human— could tap into the potential that is inherent in all youth.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015:

          Dr. H. Bernard Hall, WCU Assistant Professor of English

                    12:00 - 1:00 pm

            Phillips Autograph Library

Wednesday, November 18, 2015:

          Dr. Daniela Johannes, WCU Assistant Professor of Languages

                    12:00 - 1:00 pm

            Phillips Autograph Library


For more information on the Ethnic Studies Seminars contact:
Dr. Miguel Ceballos, Assistant Director,


Other Events

Upcoming events:

Social Innovation in a Digital Context

        Friday, October 16, 2015

           10:00 am - 4:00 pm

  PASSHE City Center in Philadelphia

            701 Market Street

(Click here for program poster or the website with a detailed program.)

Sixteen social and digital innovators from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia will present projects they developed while participating in the SIDC program at Lund University. The yearlong academic program focuses on uses of digital technologies for sociopolitical change. Click here for a description of each of the 2014 projects that will be presented at this year's event. 

New this year: This year’s event includes two break-out sessions that will allow for more meaningful interaction between the presenters and attendees. In addition, two innovator-scholars from the U.S. will join us to discuss their exciting work that lies at the intersection of digital media and working for social justice.

Past Events

"Father Greg and the Homeboys: Gang Intervention that Works",
Dr. Brian O'Neill, Criminal Justice - September 22, 2015