Sean Zwagerman

Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

As Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, I am responsible for all FASS related domestic and international graduate student and curriculum matters, Field Schools, Exchanges, and Semester Abroad, as well as faculty and unit-level graduate curricular programming development and program consultation. I am the point person for issues related to Academic Integrity and the Student Conduct Policy for both undergraduate and graduate students. My portfolio also encompasses graduate professional development, as such Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) Teaching Assistant (TA) and Sessional Instructor (SI) training. I chair the FASS Graduate Curriculum Committee and serve on the SFU Senate Graduate Studies Committee (SGSC) and Graduate Student Enrolment Management Council Sub-Committees.

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English. I am interested broadly in rhetoric and writing, in the compositional relationship among the word, the self, and the world. I often use the terminology of speech-act theory to analyze and define what we try to do, are able to do, and fail to do in our purposeful acts of writing and speech. I am currently writing about the pervasive problem of unpersuadability—the refusal to even consider changing one’s opinion—and what we might do about it. I argue that unpersuadability—and social change generally—is best engaged at the micro-level, through the individual and interpersonal speech acts which construct and maintain social reality, not at the macro-level of battling vast ideological forces.