Keja Valens

Keja Valens

Professional Details

Title: Associate Professor
Office: MH-104D
Phone: 978-542-7050
Resume: Keja Valens [DOC 73KB]

Fall & Winter Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
2595 S1 ENG725 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Literature I
2988 05 FYEN100 First Year Seminar (English)
3736 D1 ENG876 Directed Study
3841 02 ENL601H Honors Essay in English
3931 D2 ENG875 Directed Study
4087 07 ENL500 Directed Study

Professional Biography

Keja Valens received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2004.  She has been at Salem State University since 2005 where she is currently Associate Professor of English.  

Professional Interests

Keja Valens teaches and writes on Caribbean literature, literatures of the Americas, American Ethnic literatures, feminisms, and literary and queer theory.  She also publishes and teaches on Food Writing.


Graduate Coordinator, MA in English, Salem State University 

Literature Coordinator, Salem State University English Department

Assessment Liaison, Salem State University English Department

Co-Advisor to the Florence Luscomb Women's Center

Selected Publications


A Barbara Johnson Reader.  Ed. with Melissa Feuerstein, Bill Johnson González, and Lili Porten.  Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2014.

Desire between Women in Caribbean Literature.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Passing Lines: Sexuality and Immigration. Ed. with Bradley Epps and Bill Johnson González. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2005.



"Book Review: Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley, Theifing Sugar."  Caribbean Vistas 2.1 (Winter, 2014).

“Afro-Caribbean Ghosts,” “Afro-Caribbean Demons,” and “Afro-Caribbean Witches.”  Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters.  Ed. Jeffrey Weinstock.  London: Ashgate,  2014.

“Words Matter.” with J.D. Scrimgeour.  African American Review 46.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2013): 461-480.  

“Recipes for National Culture in Guadeloupe and Martinique.”  In Faraclas, N., R. Severing, C. Weijer, E. Echteld, and M. Hinds-Layne.  eds. Transcultural Roots Uprising:  The Rhizomatic Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the Caribbean.  Willemstad: University of Curaçao and Fundashon pa Planifikashon di Idioma, 2013.

“The Love of Neighbors: Rosario Ferré’s Eccentric Neighborhoods/Vecindarios eccéntricos.” Contemporary Women Writers 6.2 (November, 2012): 251-266.

“Book Review: Lawrence LaFountain Stokes, Queer Ricans.”  Caribbean Vistas 1.1 (2012).

“African American Lesbian Literature,” “Mexican American Lesbian Literature,” “Multiculturalism and LGBTQ Literature.”  The Greenwood Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Literature.  Ed. Emmanuel Nelson.  ABC-CLIO, 2009.


Selected Presentations

"Consent to Incest?" American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, New York, March 23, 2014.

“Trans Caribbean.”  International Conference on Caribbean Literature, Panama City, November 14, 2013.

“Defiant Consent: Billie Holliday’s “Ain’t Nobody’s Business.”  American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, April 6, 2013.

“Consent and the Transformation of Subjection.”  Northeast Modern Language Annual Meeting, Boston, March 23, 2013.

“Recipes for National Culture in Guadeloupe and Martinique.”  Eleventh Annual Eastern Caribbean Islands Literature and Culture Conference.  Saint Thomas, USVI, November 4, 2012.

“Empowering Resistance, and Consent, to Abuse.”  American Literature Association, San Francisco, CA, May 25, 2012.

“Limits of Consent.”  American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting.  Providence, Rhode Island.  March 29, 2012.

“Queer Persons and Things: Using Barbara Johnson for Queer Theory.”  Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference.  New Brunswick, NJ.  April 7, 2011.

“Reconstructing Gender, Race, and Nationality in Patricia Powell’s The Pagoda.”  American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting.  Vancouver, Canada.  April 3, 2011.

“Relations Between Women in Rosario Ferré’s “El regalo” and Eccentric Neighborhoods/Vecindarios excéntricos.”  Cuarto Congreso Internacional Escritura, Individuo y Sociedad en España, las Américas y Puerto Rico.  Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  November 20, 2010.

“Barbara Johnson.”  Theorizing: A Symposium.  Philadelphia, PA.  March, 2010.

Personal Interests

Food, from seed to stomach.