Keja Valens

Keja Valens

Professional Details

Title: Professor
Office: MH-104D
Phone: 978-542-7050
Resume: Keja Valens [DOCX 148KB]

Spring Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
1206 01 ENL253 American Ethnic Literatures Since World War II
2780 01 ENL233 Contemporary Society Through Literature
2814 01 ENL495 Special Topics in Theory and Criticism

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 Professor of English.  

Professional Interests

Keja Valens teaches and writes on Caribbean literature, literatures of the Americas, American Ethnic literatures, feminisms, literary and queer theory, and food writing.


Graduate Coordinator, MA in English, Salem State University 

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.



"Excruciating Improbability and the Transgender Jamaican."  Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities.  Eds. Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias.  New Jersey: Rutgers UP, 2016. 65-82.

"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).

Selected Presentations

“A Little Bit of Puerto Rican Food Culture.”  34th Annual West Indian Literature Conference.  University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, October 2, 2015.

“Willful Disorders and Disorders of the Will.”  American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, March 28, 2015.

“Using Institutional Data to Redesign Whole Courses: the Incorporation of Interteaching in World Literature” with Marc Boots-Ebenfield and Scott Nowka, New England Educational Assessment Network, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, November 7, 2014.

“Bajan Cooking: Natural Resource, National Resource.”  33rd Annual West Indian Literature Conference.  University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, October 3, 2014.

"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.

Personal Interests

Food, from seed to stomach.