live thinking we will never die.
Who is Jeffrey Kahan?
Jeffrey Kahan is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California, where
he teaches Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Film, Shakespeare’s Contemporaries, Graphic Novels, and
serves as dramaturge to the Department of Theater. In 2012, he established the La Verne Shakespeare
Center. 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, fundraising, and grant writing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Also in 2013, Kahan returned to the subject of the Ireland Shakspeare Forgeries for European Romantic Review.
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
His articles, notes, and reviews have been published in American Notes and Queries, The Ben Jonson Journal, The Cambridge
Bibliography of English Literature, Cithara, 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.