Justin De Senso

Justin De Senso

Lecturer of English and African American Studies

Penn State Berks

154 Franco Building, Penn State Berks

Office Phone: (610) 396-6378


I come to Penn State after having taught and lectured at colleges and universities across the US, including the University of Florida, Drexel University, and El Paso Community College. I am an American Studies PhD candidate at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, where I taught courses on world history as well as hip-hop. My dissertation research focuses on the role of officers of color in postwar Brooklyn and Harlem.

In 2016, in collaboration with the Center for Service Learning and Community-Based Research, I began "The Reading Police Oral History Project," a student-authored publication that documents the lives of local City of Reading cops. In 2017, I co-founded the Berks Hip-Hop Collective, a faculty-staff-student initiative that champions hip-hop at Berks through curricula, visual art, and freestyle rhyme.  I am currently co-developing two new courses for the 2018-2019 academic year, "SOC 205N: Critical Race Theory in the Humanities and Social Sciences" and "AM ST 226N: Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop," both supported by Penn State General Education Integrative Studies Seed Grants.

Most recent publication: