An email interview with John Dixon and an oral interview with Paul Olson, along with a transcript.
Paul Olson is Professor Emeritus at University of Nebraska and was one of the American delegates at the Dartmouth Seminar in 1966. He is a medievalist by training and his work with Project English preceded his attendance at the Seminar. After the Seminar he was engaged in collaborative initiatives that reformed English teaching in Nebraska and across the US. His work with Native and rural communities in Nebraska was a central part of his teaching and administrative career. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. We spoke in the summer of 2020 over Zoom, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and widespread protests over racial injustice; we refer to these events during the interview. At the time of our interview, he was the last surviving American delegate for the Seminar.
—Annette Vee, May 2021
In the summer of 2020, I began an email exchange with John Dixon. Dixon was one of the major figures in the Dartmouth Seminar and wrote Growth through English, one of the two booklength accounts of the Seminar, which was published in 1967 by NATE (the National Association for the Teaching of English (Great Britain). Dixon was 93 at the time of our email exchanges, which ranged from details and clarifications about the Seminar to family to politics. What follows is an edited version of our exchange, focused on the Dartmouth Seminar and shared with his permission.
—Annette Vee, January 2021