Professor of English
Professor Kaiser specializes in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, comedy studies, gender and sexuality studies, LGBTQ+ literatures, and neurodiversity studies. He is the author of The World in Play: Portraits of a Victorian Concept (Stanford UP, 2012), the translator of Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Cognella, 2017), and the editor of seven books and essay collections, including A Cultural History of Comedy in the Age of Empire (Bloomsbury, 2020) and An Apology for Idlers and Other Essays by Robert Louis Stevenson (Cognella, 2018).
He received his doctorate in Literatures in English from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 2004, and, before joining the Faculty at UC Merced in 2014, taught literary and cultural studies at Rutgers, Harvard University, Fudan University and Shanghai International Studies University in China. The recipient of a Stanford Humanities Center External Faculty Fellowship (2013–14) and the Donald Gray Prize (NAVSA, 2012) for his journal article “Pater’s Mouth” (VLC, 2011), he is currently at work on a book-length study of Oscar Wilde’s anti-eugenic aestheticism.
Dr. Kaiser teaches courses in nineteenth-century literature, Victorian authors, Crime and Horror, and literature and sexuality.