PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1983
Interests and Specializations
Shakespeare; Tudor Literature; Literary Bibliography
He was promoted to the rank of Professor of English at Marshall University in 1994, and, since earning his PhD at Penn State in 1983, has authored nearly 70 papers and publications, mainly on Shakespeare. His work has appeared in such journals as Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Newsletter, Connotations, Seventeenth-Century News, SRASP (Shakespeare and Renaissance Association: Selected Papers), the Iowa State Journal of Research, and the Journal of Popular Culture, among others. From 1986 through 2002, he was a contributing bibliographer to “The World Shakespeare Bibliography,” a yearly special volume of Shakespeare Quarterly published by Johns Hopkins UP.
From 1993-2000, he served as graduate director in the English Department at Marshall University. In 1996, he received Marshall’s Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award, and he has also received three university merit awards for outstanding teaching and research in 1997, 1999, and 2001. In 1990, Dr. Taft edited and published the collection of scholarly essays “Shakespeare in Our High Schools” in a special double issue of the Nebraska English Journal, which was later named by NCTE as the outstanding affiliate journal publication for 1991. From 1990 through 1996, he served as editor of SRASP, the yearly refereed journal of the West Virginia Shakespeare and Renaissance Association.
Dr. Taft currently serves on the editorial board of three journals: SRASP, Shakespeare and the Classroom, and Quidditas. In 1998, Dr. Taft organized and led the Shakespeare Association of America seminar on Henry IV, Part 2, held in Cleveland, Ohio, and, two years later he was invited by the Trustees of SAA to deliver a paper entitled “Sound and Sense in King Lear” at the 2000 SAA annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. In recent years, Dr. Taft has served as an outside evaluator for candidates for promotion to professor at Bowling Green State University, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the University of Delaware, and Penn State – Fayette Campus. Dr. Taft served two terms as Faculty Chair of the Marshall University Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT-Marshall); later, he served as a member of the AFT-Marshall Executive Board and as a member of the AFT-Marshall Organizing Committee. In 2006, Dr. Taft’s accomplishments were recognized by his inclusion in Who’s Who in America (Marquis Press). He assumed his duties as editor of a new annual online journal, Proceedings of the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference in late 2007.