Black and white photo of man with glasses
Benjamin  Kahan 
Assistant Professor
Bachelor's Degree(s): Northwestern
Master's Degree: University of Pennsylvania
PhD: University of Pennsylvania
Phone: (225) 578-3156
Office: 223-D Allen Hall

Area of Interest

the history of sexuality and gender, queer theory, 20th century American literature and culture, psychoanalysis and sexology, race and ethnicity, critical theory.

Awards & Honors

Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, LSU English Graduate Student Association (2013)

Phi Kappa Phi Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2013)

The Humanities Center at The University of Pittsburgh, Early Career Fellowship (2011-2012)

Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS), Louisiana Board of Regents (2011) (declined)

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Wood Institute Travel Grant (2011)

Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Emory University (2009-2010)

Dorot Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Jewish Studies, Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship, University of Texas, Austin (2010)

Research Associate at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center (2009-2010) (declined)

SUNY Press Dissertation /First Book Prize in Queer Studies, Semifinalist (2008)

Travel-to-Collections Grant, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College (2007)

SAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2007-2008)

Benjamin Franklin Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (2002-2007)

William Patrick Day Essay Prize, for best graduate student essay, Runner-Up, English Department, University of Pennsylvania (2006)

2005 Critical Writing Award for Most Promising Teacher, Runner Up, Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania

WATU (Writing Across the University) Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (2004)

Edwin L. Shuman Essay Contest, First Prize, English Department, Northwestern University (2002) 

Selected Publications

Book: Celibacies: American Modernism and Sexual Life (in production with Duke University Press, publication expected Fall 2013)


“The Walk-In Closet: Situational Homosexuality and Homosexual Panic in Hellman's The Children's Hour,Criticism 55.2 (Spring 2013)


“Queer Modernism” in A Handbook of Modernism Studies, ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté (Wiley-Blackwell, May 2013)


“The Other Harlem Renaissance: Father Divine, Celibate Economics, and the Making of Black Sexuality,” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literatures, Culture, and Theory 65.4 (Winter 2009): 37-61


“'The Viper's Traffic-knot': Celibacy and Queerness in the ‘Late' Marianne Moore,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 14.4 (September 2008): 509-535