Dr. Langdon is Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Social Change Leadership at StFX University. He is also Associate Professor and coordinator of the Development Studies interdisciplinary program at StFX.
He received his initial appointment at StFX as a tenure-track assistant professor in 2009, following the completion of his doctorate at McGill University.
Dr. Langdon’s doctoral work was shortlisted for the 2008 Canadian Association for the Study of International Development’s Kari Polanyi-Levitt prize.
Dr. Langdon’s research focuses on learning through community-based social movement social action - primarily, but not exclusively, in Ghana.
The importance of this work is internationally recognized, having received the 2013 and 2017 David Jones Award for best paper with an international focus at SCUTREA, the foremost Adult Education conference in the UK.
His research has also been recognized by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in its study of research excellence in community engaged research.
Issues of environmental, economic, cultural and community sustainability are major components of the learning through social action and social movement learning that he has documented in his research.
Using participatory action research approaches, Dr. Langdon’s work has produced academic case studies of learning related to social movements and their community context. His work has informed models of community-based social leadership based on lessons learned.
Dr. Langdon has directed considerable attention towards understanding community movements related to defense of communal access for West Africa’s largest salt-yielding lagoon, and the related artisanal salt livelihood of 60,000 people in Ada, Ghana.
He has examined the role of community radio in this defense, and how it enabled learning and the use of this learning to broaden and democratize knowledge within a social movement.
Dr. Langdon secured a SSHRC Research Grant to undertake this social movement learning research in 2011, and recently secured a 5-year SSHRC Insight Grant (IG) to continue and expand the current research.
Looking beyond Ada, he has researched various local and indigenous knowledge systems, including wellness systems in Northern Ghana, and their ability to sustain themselves.
He has continued to work in northern Ghana, most recently looking at the impact of Chinese mining in the area on various livelihoods.
Finally, another complementary research focus is on learning in Development Studies pedagogies, he collaborates with several colleagues internationally on this topic, as well as with colleagues based at the Coady International Institute.