Welcome to Dr. Sean Zwagerman, New FASS Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

July 04, 2018

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to welcome Dr. Sean Zwagerman to the FASS Dean’s Office as Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies this July.

Dr. Zwagerman came to SFU in 2003 with a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, an MA from Sonoma State University, and BA from UC Berkeley. An associate professor with the English Department, he is interested broadly in rhetoric and writing and in the compositional relationship among the word, the self, and the world. His particular research interests include the intersections of rhetorical theory and analytic philosophy, the rhetoric of humour, and public outrage about plagiarism and literacy. Dr. Zwagerman’s forthcoming publications include contributions to a collection of essays on the rhetoric of the oil industry and to a collection on American women’s humour, as well as a book-length project arguing that contemporary socio-political discourse is better understood as grounded in personal convictions than in global ideologies.

Dr. Zwagerman served as Undergraduate Chair in the English Department from 2013-2016 and says he is looking forward to working and connecting with graduate students across FASS and facing both the challenges and opportunities that await him in his new role as associate dean.  

“I think the biggest challenges for arts and social sciences programs across North America are the related problems of declining enrollments and a lack of public visibility and regard. So my own biggest challenge will be in trying to address those problems in whatever ways I can, both within our graduate programs and through outreach to the public.”

One way Zwagerman plans to help students work with Mitacs to provide FASS graduate students with paid internship opportunities in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.  

He adds, “I'm also looking forward to trying to create opportunities for our graduate students to meet and work with students in other departments who share their research interests. What I enjoyed most about my job as Undergraduate Chair in English was meeting and helping students. I'm looking forward to doing the same with graduate students all across FASS, and I invite them to get in touch and tell me about their experiences.” You can reach Associate Dean Dr. Sean Zwagerman at: sean_zwagerman@sfu.ca