Initiated in 1993, the Seminars feature academic papers, literary readings, and multi-media presentations of pedagogical, literary, and scholarly interest. We regard these to be friendly gatherings open to all instructors, students, and staff at NDSU, as well as the F/M community.

Archived Papers and Abstracts
Archived Schedules

For further information or to propose a Seminar topic, contact or Michele Sherman



Poetry in View: Commemorating the Verbal-Visual Art of David Martinson

Thursday, March 10, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Spirit Room
111 Broadway, Fargo

Join us for an informal gathering of students, colleagues, and F/M community to honor David’s beautiful broadsides, chapbooks, eclectic word-image creations, and occasional journal, Aluminum Canoe.

This event is part of a three-day, inaugural David Martinson Broadside Workshop under development by colleagues in Art and English. Stephen Frech, visiting poet and founder of Oneiros Press, will be on hand to read, reminisce, and chat about the art of poetry on display.

David taught English at NDSU for over 20 years and passed away on May 9, 2010.  


Recent Seminars

“Thinking Ecocritically,” , 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sudro 26
co-sponsored with Recycling Shakespeare, an Earth Day
Birthday Celebration

April 22, 2010
9:30-11:00 am
Sudro 26

Presenters: Linda Helstern and
students from English 336 (Literature and the


"True West /by Sam Shepard: 'Territory' and Displacement"

Tues., Nov. 17, 2009
3:30-5:00 pm
South Engineeering 314

Presenters: Andy Trump

Set in contemporary Southern California, Sam Shephard's 1980 play, True West is about two very different adult brothers reuniting to housesit for their mother. Their ensuing entanglements, and the way they care for as well as destroy their mother's house, allow Shepard to put his own stamp on classic western storytelling, with its symbols of possessing, conniving, stealing, and ruining what is there. These entanglements also allow him to explore historical patterns common to the actual settling of the West. The West has been "discovered" by a train of successive peoples. The region known as "the West" became their home, "discovered" yet again by those arriving later, causing predecessors' uprooting, taken over by a new group making it their "home." Shepard's plot and characters hew to this pattern. The structure of his play, in fact, parallels the structure of exploitation and desire seen again and again in the American West. This paper will analyze those patterns as they play out in the lives of the two tempestuous brothers.


"Bringing Smexy Back:  AMVs, Transgressive Sexuality, and Fangirl Identity"

Tues., Oct. 27, 2009
3:30-5:00 pm
Minard 135

Presenter: Elizabeth Birmingham

Elizabeth Birmingham, Associate Professor of English, will present a paper on girls as producers of internet content.  The paper considers the differences between the anime Music Videos (AMVs) of boys and girls, and concludes that girls' production of more complex content is related to their more complex relationship to source material.


"Collaborations in Composition: An NDSU-High School Writing Partnership"

Fri. Feb. 13th, 2009
3:30-5:00 pm
Minard 135

Presenters: Kristina Caton and Erik Kornkven

In the spring of 2007, Kristina Caton, a graduate student in English, and Cindy Benson, the English Language Learner (ELL) teacher at South High in Fargo, ND , collaborated in a writing partnership which partnered Caton’s Freshmen Composition students with Benson’s high school ELL students. Based on a similar project headed by Dr. Amy Taggart, in which freshmen composition students and junior high students wrote pen pal letters, Caton and Benson’s students exchanged letters throughout the semester. The partnership culminated in a collaborative writing workshop hosted by the Freshman Composition classes on the NDSU campus. In the fall of 2007, Caton received a grant from NDSU Extension to continue, and expand, the collaboration between Freshmen Composition students and high school international students in the Fargo Public Schools.

In this presentation, Caton and Erik Kornkven, also a graduate student in English, will share their experiences of instigating, planning, and carrying out these various collaborative exercises. They will explain the rationale behind the assignments from both the college and high school perspectives. They will also underscore the pedagogical decision making that went into planning and designing the assignments including what worked and tips for future collaborative efforts.

"Safe or Sorry? Working Responsibly with SafeAssign"

Wed. Oct. 22nd , 2008
3:30-5:00 pm
Morrill Hall 109

Presenters: Nancy Lilleberg, Amy Rupiper-Taggart, Kelly Sassi, and Nona Wood

NDSU has adopted the plagiarism detection program “SafeAssign” and has integrated it as an option into Blackboard. At this session, you’ll get a brief demonstration of SafeAssign followed by a look at best practices and cautions for using plagiarism detection software. We will also examine student rights and responsibilities in relationship to plagiarism. Discussion will follow.

Nancy Lilleberg, ITS, demonstrating SafeAssign; Amy Rupiper-Taggart, Director of First-year Writing, over-viewing the writing field’s statements about best practices; Kelly Sassi, English and Education, reporting on teaching experience with plagiarism programs; and Nona Wood, offering perspectives on student rights and responsibilities regarding plagiarism.

Prepared by Cindy Nichols
Last modified February 28, 2011