A discussion list has to have a critical mass of subscribers or it dies. For many years there was just such a critical mass on the TSE list. Someone would start a topic and others would pick it up and add things (and it wasn't always the exact same people, taking predictable "sides"). But in recent years the erosion of subscribers has became startling. We are now well below critical mass.

A major problem is that the TSE List is now a "private" list: Go to the Missouri web site and try to find it 

When you search through the index, you'll find that "TSE" is not shown.
In a box labeled "Access Unlisted Archives" you can finally get to the list if you know to type "TSE" in this box. Why is TSE unlisted?

In the past, if you did a Goggle search for "T S Eliot discussion list," the Missouri list would be the first entry, and it was easy to join the list from there. That's how I found the list many years ago. Here's what you get now from Google:

TSE: The Web Site - University of Missouri
A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt  learn more.
robots.txt file restricts access to your site by search engine robots that crawl the web. These bots are automated, and before they access pages of a site, they check to see if a robots.txt file exists that prevents them from accessing certain pages. (All respectable robots will respect the directives in a robots.txt file, although some may interpret them differently).

So the list has vanished. You have to already know the list exists to find it. This is obviously a major stumbling block to getting new people involved in the conversation. 

Why have the list owners done this? Is the list going to be open to the general public again in the future?

-- Tom --