Beidler, Peter G. 1940-

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Beidler, Peter G. 1940-


Born March 13, 1940, in Bethlehem, PA; son of Paul H. (an architect) and Margaret F. (a counselor) Beidler; married June 15, 1963; wife's name Anne E.; children: Paul, Kurt, Calloway, Nora. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Earlham College, B.A., 1962; Lehigh University, M.A., 1965, Ph.D., 1968; post-doctoral study at University of Arizona, 1973-74. Politics: Democrat. Hobbies and other interests: Carpentry, building.


Home—Seattle, WA.


Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, assistant professor, 1968-72, associate professor, 1972-77, professor, 1977-78, Lucy G. Moses Distinguished Professor of English, 1978-2007, professor emeritus, 2007—, director of freshman writing program, 1989-90. University of Kent at Canterbury, research professor, 1983-84; Sichuan University, Fulbright professor, 1987-88; Baylor University, Robert Foster Cherry Visiting Distinguished Teaching Professor, 1995-96. Military service: U.S. Air Force, 1962-68; became staff sergeant.


Modern Language Association of America.


National Endowment for the Humanities, fellowship, 1973-74, grants, between 1989 and 2003; named national professor of the year, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and Carnegie Foundation, 1984; Lehigh University, senior Lindback Award for distinguished teaching, 1994, Dorothy B. and Donald L. Stabler Foundation Award, 2001, Eleanor and Joseph R. Libsch Research Award, 2002.


Fig Tree John: An Indian in Fact and Fiction, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1977.

(With Marion F. Egge) The American Indian in Short Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow (Lanham, MD), 1979.

(Editor and contributor) John Gower's Literary Transformations in the Confessio Amantis, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1982.

Distinguished Teachers on Effective Teaching: Observations on Effective Teaching by College Professors Recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 1986.

Ghosts, Demons, and Henry James: "The Turn of the Screw" at the Turn of the Century, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1989.

Writing Matters, McGraw Hill (New York, NY), 1990.

Henry James, "The Turn of the Screw": Text and Five Contemporary Critical Essays, Bedford Books (Boston, MA), 1995, expanded edition, 2004.

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Wife of Bath: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives, Bedford Books (Boston, MA), 1996.

(With Martha A. Kalnin) "The Chaucer Review": An Annotated and Indexed Bibliography, Vols. 1-30 (electronic publication), Baylor University Web site, 1997.

(Editor and contributor) Masculinities in Chaucer, Boydell & Brewer (Rochester, NY), 1998.

(With Elizabeth M. Biebel) The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale: An Annotated Bibliography, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

(With Gay Barton) A Reader's Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1999, revised edition, 2006.

(With Marion F. Egge) The Native American in the "Saturday Evening Post," 1897-1969, Scarecrow (Lanham, MD), 2000.

(With Marion F. Egge and Harry J. Brown) The Native American in Short Fiction in the "Saturday Evening Post," Scarecrow (Lanham, MD), 2001.

Backgrounds to Chaucer, Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies, 2001.

Why I Teach, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2002.

(Editor, with Kimberly Capps Reed) Approaches to Teaching Henry James's "Daisy Miller" and "The Turn of the Screw," Modern Language Association of America (New York, NY), 2005.

(Author of revisions and contributor) A. Kent and Constance Hieatt, editors, Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

A Reader's Guide to J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," Coffeetown Press (Seattle, WA), 2007.

Contributor to books, including A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050-1500, Volume 11: The Romances, edited by J. Burke Severs, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (New Haven, CT), 1967; Chaucer and Gower: Difference, Mutuality, Exchange, edited by R.F. Yeager, University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), 1991; and The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales, edited by Leonard Michael Koff and Brenda Deen Schildgen, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (East Brunswick, NJ), 2000. Contributor of more than 150 articles and reviews to periodicals, including English Record, Costerus: Essays in English and American Language and Literature, Italica, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Arizona Quarterly, and Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. Editor, Dialog, 1979-81; editor of special issues, Chaucer Review, 1977, 1997, Lex et Scientia, 1977, American Indian Quarterly, 1978, Journal of American Studies, 1989, and Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies, 1995, 1998, and 1999.


Peter G. Beidler once told CA: "I am a professor of English. I teach literature and writing and life and love and growth. I write because I want to discover new things and because I want to share my ideas with others in that huge classroom outside the four walls of the college classroom. I write because I want to keep on teaching after I retire, after I grow senile, after I die. I write because in writing I discover things that ought to be said, or said better.

"I find that I am rarely more alive than when I am creating something new out of black marks on a white page. The kind of writing I do does not make me any money, but there is a greater payment in knowing that I have said something new, and that I have not pandered to anyone's low tastes in order to make money. I am fortunate to be in a profession in which I am expected to publish (it's usually called research or scholarship), but not to sell.

"Maybe someday I will try to make some money at my writing, but I am not sure I have the right skills for that, or that I understand the markets well enough. But maybe.

"I was inspired to write by my mother, who loved words, and by a couple of really fine English teachers, who taught me to respect the power and glory of eloquence. One of my favorite games is Scrabble. The words rarely make a sentence, so there is no meaning there, but filling up that board with words is a creative act. I always hate to slide the letters off into the bag at the end of the game. But there will always be another blank board to fill up, and always the hope of getting an eight-letter word that will land on two Triple Word Score spots. I've never actually done that, but, hey …"