Jeffrey Kahan

"We live thinking we will never die.
 We die thinking we had never lived.
 Cut it out."-- Jason Becker



Jeffrey Kahan is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in Los Angeles County, where he teaches Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Film, Shakespeare’s Contemporaries, Graphic Novels, and  serves as dramaturge to the Department of Theater.   He is also the Director of the University of La Verne Shakespeare Experience.


His online vitae, available at, is supplemented with the following overview, designed to make insomniacs snore like donkeys:


Dr. Kahan's first book, Reforging Shakespeare (Lehigh UP, 1998), was a comprehensive study of the Ireland forgeries of 1795. Reforging Shakespeare argues that the time may be ripe to re-examine the W.H. Ireland forgeries  as a decisive case history in the development of our current respect for antiquity, our appreciation of authenticity,  and our understanding of bardolatry.   



In July 2004, Dr. Kahan completed a three volume set for Routledge entitled Shakespeare Imitations, Parodies and Forgeries, 1710-1820.  The set includes 24 plays comprising 750 pages and another 500  pages of introductory materials, notes and collations.  December of 2004 saw the release of his edition of The Poetry of W.H. Ireland, a selection that firmly establishes Ireland’s place among the most important Romantic poets of his era. In 2005, Dr. Kahan completed his editions of Ireland’s Shakespearean Gothic novels Gondez and Rimauldo. He then had a glass of milk.


In 2006, he published The Cult of Kean, a study of the Regency Shakespeare actor Edmund Kean, with Ashgate.  Another book,

co-written with Stanley Stewart, Professor of English at UC Riverside, Caped Crusaders 101: Composition Through Comic Books, came out with McFarland (2006). In that same year, Kahan published an edition of Ireland’s The Abbess, issued by Zittaw,  an edition of Southey’s epic poetry with the University of Gloucestershire, an edition of Much Ado About Nothing with the Shakespeare Sourcebook Series, and guest-edited John Mulryan’s journal Cithara.  He then slept for a year.


In 2008, Dr. Kahan wrote a comprehensive general introduction and contributed an essay to a new collection on King Lear

(published by Routledge). In 2009, Professor Kahan completed a new book, Bettymania and the Birth of Celebrity Culture (Lehigh

University), and, along with Thomas Hester, guest edited a special double-issue of the Ben Jonson Journal.  The issue also included an essay, ”Shakespear wanted Arte’: Questioning the Historical Value of Ben Jonson’s Conversations  With Drummond.”  An edition of Pericles, published as part of the New Kittredge Shakespeare series, also appeared in 2009, as did a new essay on W.H. Ireland’s gothics, published in Shakespearean Gothic, eds. Christy Desmet and Anne Williams.  In 2010, Professor Kahan edited Coriolanus (New Kittredge Shakespeare Series).  An updated and revised second edition of his book Caped Crusaders 101 appeared in the fall of 2010. He then joined writer’s anonymous.


In 2011, he published How to Get Published in the Humanities. In the same year, Professor Kahan  agreed to write on the

author/poet/forger W.H. Ireland for the Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Gothic (published 2013). He wrote a short essay on incest

and the gothic for the same publication.  He then considered writing War and Peace but discovered that Tolstoy had already

written it, and that Woody Allen had already penned this joke.


In 2012, he established the La Verne Shakespeare Center, now known as The La Verne Shakespeare Experience. His tasks as Director include the creation of a High School Shakespeare Program, planning and coordinating on-campus  Shakespearean events, an annual Shakespeare conference, community outreach, and working with University Relations and other faculty and staff on fundraising and grant writing.  He also lost a game of chess….


In 2013, Kahan published  a new book, Shakespiritualism: Shakespeare and the Occult (Palgrave, 2013). This study concerns itself

with a now-forgotten religious group, Spiritualists, and how its ensuing discussions of Shakespeare's meaning, his writing practices, his possible collaborations, and the supposed purity and/or corruption of his texts anticipated, accompanied, or silhouetted similar debates in Shakespeare Studies.  The following review comes by way of Edward Pechter, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Concordia University, Canada and author of Shakespeare Studies Today:


"Shakespiritualism introduces a fascinating collection of individuals who imagined they could make contact with the living spirit

of Shakespeare. Kahan acknowledges how easy it would be to dismiss their endeavors as silly if not mad, but to do so, he argues, would constitute a missed critical opportunity. For one thing, the very strangeness of the phenomenon helps to define by contrast the interpretive practice with which professional Shakespeareans are familiar. Then too, it's not so strange after all. Kahan points to surprising continuities between Shakespiritualism and our own work, and his darker purpose in this learned and appealing book is to suggest that a critical engagement with Shakespiritualism, while it is bound to remain a queer-looking enterprise, might help to enlarge our own practice beyond the unproductively narrow space within which it is sometimes enclosed."


He also had a book tour, which took him to UC Riverside, Cal State Long Beach, Fresno Pacific, and Vanderbilt.  In celebration thereof, he tried getting drunk in his hotel room but confused those tiny shampoo bottles with that stuff in the mini-bar.


Also in 2013, Kahan returned to the subject of the Ireland Shakspeare forgeries for European Romantic Review.  No humorous remark

needed: The Ireland forgeries function as their own punchline.


A more recent interest concerns the future of the discipline. Kahan anticipates that, like Science Departments, Theater Departments will soon have to seek their own funding.   To meet that coming challenge, he is currently enrolled in La Verne’s M.S. in Leadership and Management program, with an emphasis on fundraising and non-profit administration.  He will complete this Master’s program in the spring of 2014.  Kahan’s  first publication on leadership will appear later this year.  He is already on the Editorial Advisory Board for three books with Bryan Christiansen, PryMarke, LLC (USA): Economic Growth and Technological Change in Latin America; Nationalism, Cultural Indoctrination, and Economic Prosperity in the Digital Age; Handbook of Research on Global Business Opportunities.   In addition, he recently created and administrates The Academic Therapist is IN: Positive Support for Struggling Academics.  He also writes a

monthly column on Captain America for and another column, entitled “The Blotted Line,” for The Shakespeare Standard.  

Kahan just completed a new article, “‘I tell you what mine author says’: A Brief History of Stylometrics,” which will appear in ELH. 

He has recently edited an issue of Studies in Gothic Fiction and created  the annotated bibliography for the  forger J.P. Collier in

Nineteenth-Century Criticism No. 286 (Gale Cengage, 2014).  At present, he is writing a new Shakespeare book, penning an article on

comicbooks and censorship, another on the Ireland forgeries, a chapter on the 1966 Batman and Robin TV show, contributing two new

reviews  to Cahiers Élisabéthains, and writing a new piece on management practices. By his count, he has pulped several rainforests of

paper, single-handedly causing the Polar Vortex of 2014.


Dr. Kahan is member of the editorial board for Shakespeare Yearbook, Udolpho Press, and The Dark Man, the latter, a journal dedicated

to the study of Texas writer R.E. Howard.  He is also a co-editor of the CORD project, a work detailing all extant information of

Elizabethan theater, actors, poets, and playwrights.  From 2001 to 2005, he served as General Editor of the Shakespeare Millennium

series.  His articles, notes, and reviews have been published in American Notes and Queries, The Ben Jonson Journal, The Cambridge

Bibliography of English Literature, Cithara, Englis Literary History, Early Modern Language Studies, The Encyclopedia of British Literature and

Poetry, The Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures, English Language Notes, Marlowe Society of America Newsletter, Notes and Queries,

Renaissance Quarterly, Seventeenth-Century News, Women's Studies, Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare Newsletter, Shakespeare Yearbook, and

Upstart Crow, among others.  He is consumed by pumpkins and vise versa….


Kahan also works with the local community, serving as a board member for Los Angeles’s Ark Theater Company and as an adviser

for a number of theater groups.  You can read some of his client reviews on his LinkedIn page.    Kahan foregoes all sleep to serve

as the President of Alpha Chi, Region VII. He is thrilled to be associated with this American honor’s society, but the Canadian

in him quibbles that there is no “u” in honor. 


Since the reader has made it so far, Kahan wishes to share the secret of his success: Always avoid alliteration.  Laugh still more with

and at Dr. Kahan by connecting with him on Facebook or by visiting his Amazon Author’s Page.    

Email to with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified:  April 3, 2014.