Sewanee Summer Seminar

The Talks | The Faculty


We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. 

Walt Disney (1901-1966)


When do the Seminars take place?

  • SESSION I: June 23 – 29, 2019
  • SESSION II: July 7 – 13, 2019

The Program

The Seminar will be housed in the beautiful Tennessee Williams Center at 406 Kentucky Avenue, the home of Sewanee’s excellent theatre program. 

Each lecture described below is given on a single morning. After a break for refreshments, participants may join a further discussion of the main lecture, or choose to attend a different presentation given by another faculty member.

Who comes to the Seminars?

We always have a lively group composed of alumni, friends of Sewanee, and those who are simply curious about this beautiful place. The only prerequisite is that you enjoy the flow of ideas and the company of interesting people. Some participants are quickly swept into active dialogue; others come to absorb and reflect.

Who teaches the Seminars?

We will be celebrating our 44th anniversary this summer with a group of outstanding speakers: Professors Andrea Hatcher, Politics; John McCardell, Vice Chancellor and History; Jeffrey Thompson, Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; Jim Turrell, School of Theology; and Dan Backlund, Theatre and Dance. Click here to see this year's faculty.

The Week 

  • Sunday, afternoon:
    • Arrive at the Tennessee Williams Center for check-in 1:30–3:30 p.m. Central Time
    • Opening reception at 4 p.m. 
  • Monday–Friday mornings, 9 a.m.–noon: Seminars
  • Monday–Friday afternoon and evenings: Optional programs and activities
  • Friday late afternoon: Final reception and farewell dinner
  • Saturday morning: Departure by 10 a.m.

The Daily Schedule

Mornings begin with a hearty breakfast at McClurg, followed by the main lecture of the day at 9 a.m. After a break for refreshments it is time for a choice: to discuss the main lecture topic or to join a new talk with a different professor. Thus, each morning includes opportunities to pursue two different subjects. Everyone hears the main lecture, then some pursue that subject for the rest of the morning while others jump into one of the “second talks.”

Afternoons and evenings are for more informal activities. We provide plenty of opportunities for hikes, visits to interesting local spots, film viewings, and other activities. Many participants mix these with their own forays into the library, into the sun, or into the luxury of unscheduled time. Use of duPont Library and the Fowler Sport and Fitness Center are included in the program.

Housing and Meals

Session I participants will live in Phillips Hall while Session II participants will be housed in Benedict Hall. Meals, with the exception of our farewell dinner, will be at McClurg Dining Hall. The campus coffee house, named after Ted Stirling, the founder of the Sewanee Summer Seminar, is on the east side of the Bishop’s Common.

How much does it cost?

$675 for each adult participant       (tuition, double room, and meals)

$725 for each adult participant       (tuition, single room, and meals)

$375 for tuition only, per person    (no housing or meals)

$75 early arrival fee per day, per person

For tuition-only participants, meals are also available on an individual basis.

Remember: The Summer Conference Office charges early arrivals (Saturday after 2 p.m.) $75.00 per personper night

How do I make a reservation?

A deposit of $50 reserves your place. Register online here, or send deposits and direct questions to:

Professor Dan Backlund
Director, Sewanee Summer Seminar
The University of the South
735 University Avenue, Sewanee, TN 37383-1000