The Community Studies Center is a locus of interdisciplinary strength at Dickinson. Fostering hands-on learning in the social sciences and humanities, the center supports ongoing student-faculty research in American Studies, anthropology, economics, education, environmental studies, history, psychology, and sociology. The center also functions as a repository for the many concrete products of student-faculty fieldwork: taped interviews, surveys, videotapes, and transcripts.
Dickinson students have done significant empirical research in diverse communities and environments through the center. In addition to work done in local communities (Carlisle, Steelton, Adams County) students have done ethnographic fieldwork, oral history, and policy research in a remote Chinese village; a Cuban Arts community; Patagonia, Argentina; Cameroon; Mexico; Venezuela; Tanzania; and Montserrat. With faculty, students often present their findings at professional conferences and co-author articles; students find these research experiences very helpful for going on to graduate school and into careers in policy research, law, education, business, social work, medicine, journalism, psychology, and the media.
This year, '08-'09, students participated in the Comparative Black Liberations Mosaic that engaged students in field work and archival research in South Africa and the Mississippi Delta. Studying the connections between the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the anti-apartheid movement, they have developed a website that features their work. The second Venezuela Mosaic focused on comparative agro-sustainability movements in Venezuela and the U.S., with students working on an organic farm cooperative in Venezuela during January. This Spring, students and faculty are working with the South Asian community in central Pennsylvania as part of the South Asian Diaspora Mosaic.Planning for a Jewish Immigration to Latin America and Oral History project is underway for next year.
The center is open:
Phone: (717) 245-1185
Fax: (717) 245-1046