The Foundations of English from Beowulf to Chaucer to Shakespeare

Program Description

This dramatic, interactive, and sometimes comic presentation traces the progression of the English language from Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, through Middle English, up to Elizabethan English in original pronunciation. From William Langland to William Shakespeare, from the Beowulf poet to Geoffrey Chaucer, from the Canterbury Tales to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the story of English comes alive through its poems, riddles, comedies, and tragedies. From the ribald to the elegiac, from supernatural villains to star-crossed lovers, Kamowski and Caserio demonstrate that what is old is new. That the myths and archetypes found in our early literature have their modern counterparts in video games, books, and movies and that the evolution of the English language is a continual story of delight and discovery.

Presenter Bio

Dave Caserio is the author of This Vanishing and Wisdom For A Dance In The Street, and is co-editor of the anthology series, I Am Montana: Student Reflections on Identity and Place. He is a founding member of the Young Poets program at MSUB, conducts writing workshops for the Frameworks program at the Lincoln Center in Billings and is the producer of a series of poetry-in-performance events, most notably, A Feast For The Hunger Moon. Publications include, Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest, Unearthing Paradise: Montana Writers in Defense of Greater Yellowstone, and Poems Across the Big Sky, Volume II.

Bill Kamowski is an English professor emeritus at Montana State University – Billings and the author of the novel Buckeye’s Ballet.


Dave Caserio
Poet, performance artist and former literature instructor.
(406) 623-0093


Dr. William Kamowski
Professor Emeritus at MSUB.