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A Guide to Teaching Effective Seminars


Welcome to the companion website for A Guide to Teaching Effective Seminars: Conversation, Identity, and Power by Susan R. Fiksdal.  This book provides college and university faculty with a new approach to thinking about their teaching and arms instructors with the necessary tools to manage successful seminars. By giving readers an appreciation of the discourse of seminars, the book helps to undermine stereotypes about language and people, increase civility, reduce misunderstandings, and foster tolerance for new ideas.

On this interactive website you will find a wealth of resources, including video clips of the transcripts in the book, related weblinks, further reading recommendations, and a glossary of terms and concepts.


Stranded in Seminar

By Dean Olson


In a crowded seminar

conversation often follows

channels well-traveled.


Thoughts unspoken

that could create a newness


are stranded in the shallows

like fish in a receding flood.


We fall silent,

turn and start away

to a place safe and quiet

in the margins of solitude,

that is,


unless conversation connects

hushed pools of relevance,


gates are held open,


thoughts alive and visceral

fill to the brim with hope,


become solid things

on tongues ripened to willingness


and the reward

will be in what we hear.


Olson, D. (2014). “Stranded in Seminar.” Off the Clock. McKinleyville, CA: Fithian Press.  Reprinted with permission.