Staff Directory


John Pavel Kehlen, MA

Lecturer of Asian Literature

Phone: 949-480-4210

Fax: 949-480-4263


Faculty - Full-Time


  • AM, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago. 1995
  • AB, College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University. 1992.

Positions Held

  • 2002-present: Lecturer of Asian Literature, Soka University of America.
  • 1998-2001: Lecturer of Asian Literature, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • 1996-1998: Lecturer, Comparative Literature, Northwestern University

Research Interests

  • Premodern Chinese and Japanese Poetry
  • Comparative Poetics and Drama
  • Performance Studies (Nōgaku, Kunqu, Suzuki, Boal and Grotowski)
  • Theory and Practice of Translation

Courses Taught at SUA

  • Lit 211: Classical Asian Literature
  •  Lit 212: Medieval Asian Literature
  • Lit 213: Modern Asian Literature
  • Lit 140: Intro to Literary Studies
  • Lit 317: Murasaki Shikibu
  • Topics in Asian Literature: The Dream of the Red Chamber, Chinese Poetry and Poetics, Murakami Haruki, The Chinese Novel, Theater of Asia
  • Hum 270: Theater and Performance
  • Hum 333: Film History and Cinematic Art (with Jim Merod)
  • Core 1 & Core 2


John Pavel Kehlen came to SUA from the University of Chicago as a doctoral candidate of the Committee on Social Thought. His dissertation is a study in comparative poetics between Greek tragedies and Japanese Noh theater. He has studied Eastern and Western classical literature and philology in the US, Japan, and Taiwan, and continues to study and teach traditional acting and performance techniques from around the world.

Kehlen has appeared on stage in various roles in Japan and Greece, and participates in theater festivals internationally. He is currently working on two new projects: a commentary on the Wumenguan, a 12th. C. Chinese collection of Buddhist poems and riddles, and a stage translation of Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound.

Previous to SUA, he taught Asian and Classical literature at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Kehlen lives in Aliso Viejo, CA.