Instructor: Mike Beehler

Dates: Thursdays, Sept. 15th to Oct. 20th

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Hope Lutheran Church

No name towers over the literary landscape of the twentieth century like T.S. Eliot’s. As a critic and editor, he helped forge the poetic language of High Modernism, popularize the critical vocabulary of New Criticism, and publish works by most of the key writers of this period. As a poet, he captured the sensibility of his age with poems like The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land, while extending and reimagining a religious and spiritual poetic vocabulary in Four Quartets. As a dramatist, he initiated a poetic drama relevant to the modern stage and to a modern audience’s sensibilities with plays like Murder in the Cathedral and The Family Reunion. This course will explore the breadth and depth of Eliot’s accomplishments, and his continuing importance as a cultural critic and source of poetic and spiritual inspiration.

Class Format: lecture & discussion

Reading (required): T.S. Eliot: The Complete Poems and Plays 1909-1950 (HBJ).(recommended): Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot

Instructor Bio: Michael Beehler is Professor Emeritus of English at Montana State University. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1978, and before coming to MSU in 1985 taught at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published and lectured widely on American literature, literature theory, and architecture and literature. From 2003 to 2007 he served as Chair of the MSU English Department and in 2003 was awarded the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He currently enjoys retirement, which includes singing with the Intermountain Opera and the Bozeman Symphony Chorus.


MSU Wonderlust is a high-quality community resource for lifelong learning for the Bozeman area.  Here is university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects, some multi-week courses, some one-off events.  These offerings come free of homework, exams, or papers: The MSU Wonderlust experience is just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It's also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.

The Winter/Spring offerings begin with a reception at the Pilgrim Congregational Church from 4 to 6pm.  It's a chance to meet with the course instructors and side-trip presenters; find out more about their plans.  

Gerry Wheeler, President of Friends of Wonderlust