Associate Professor of English Salem State University



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Keja Valens

Associate Professor of English

Salem State University
 24 Munroe St., Somerville, MA 02143  (617) 312-1897  kvalens@salemstate.edu 





Education


Harvard University, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, 2004.

Harvard University, A.M. in Comparative Literature, 2001.

Carleton College, B.A. in Romance Languages and Literatures, magna cum laude, 1995.

Grants, Honors, and Awards


Graduate Research Council Mini-Grant, Spring 2014

Human Past Faculty Learning Community Participant, Spring 2014

Faculty Learning Community Co-Facilitator: Globalism, Diversity, and the Multicultural Multilingual Classroom, 2013-2014

School, of Graduate Studies Mini-Grant, Spring 2013

Project ACES Grant, 2012-2015

Faculty Learning Community Facilitator: Gender and Sexuality, 2010-2011

Faculty Learning Community Participant: Creating Significant Learning Experiences, 2009-2010.

Research Writing Initiative, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012.

Graduate Research Committee mini-grant, 2009.

WinterTech 2007.

Online Course Development Project, 2006.

Humanities Center Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2003-2004.

Graduate Society Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2003-2004 (Declined).

David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Summer Travel & Research Fellowship, 2003.

Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, 2001, 2003, 2004.

Joseph Levenson Memorial Teaching Award Nominee, 2000.

David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship, 1999.

High Honors in General Doctoral Qualifying Examinations, 1999.

Distinction in Major Department and on Senior Integrative Exercise, Carleton College, 1995.

Phi Beta Kappa, inducted 1994.



Teaching and Research Interests


Literatures of the Americas, American Ethnic Literatures, Feminisms, Queer Theory.

Publications

Books


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.

Essays, Articles, and Book Reviews


“Book Review: Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, Thiefing 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).

“Mayotte’s Other Ideal.” 11th Annual Eastern Caribbean Islands Conference Proceedings. October, 2009.

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

“Dark and Dangerous.” Changing Currents: Transnational Caribbean Literary and Cultural Criticism. Eds. Emily Allen Williams and Melvin Rahming. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2006.

“Audre Lorde and Paule Marshall’s Queer Histories of the Caribbean.” La Torre X.36-37 (2005): 257-268.

“African American Lesbian Literature,” “Caribbean (Anglophone) American Autobiography,” “Caribbean (Anglophone) American Novel,” “Down These Mean Streets,” “Mexican American Lesbian Literature,” “Nicholasa Mohr,” “Puerto Rican American Novel,” “Piri Thomas.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. Ed. Emmanuel Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005.

“Plotting Desire ‘In the Night’.” Sargasso (2004-2005, II): 81-92. Reprint in Jamaica Kincaid. Ed. Linda Lang-Peralta. Columbia, SC: Layman Poupard Publishing (Gale/Cengage Learning), Forthcoming (2014).

“Obvious and Ordinary: Desire Between Girls in Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 25.2 (2004): 123-149.

“Desire Between Women in and as Parodic Métissage: Maryse Condé’s Célanire cou-coupé.” Journal of Commonwealth Studies 10.1 (Spring 2003): 67-93.

“Disobedient Autobiographies of Las Desobedientes: Mujeres de Nuestra América.” Book review. David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies News. Winter, 1998.

Conferences and Presentations


“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.

“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.

“Martí’s Foundational Failure.” Modern Language Association Annual Conference. Philadelphia, PA, December 29, 2009.

“Eccentric Relations, Vecindarios Excéntricos.” Caribbean Studies Association 34th Annual Conference. Kingston, Jamaica, June 4, 2009.

“Unmixing It Up At Carnival.” 11th Annual Eastern Caribbean Cultures Conference. Curaçao, November 8, 2008.

“Mayotte’s Muddiness.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting. Long Beach, California. April 25, 2008.

“Sexual Alternatives in Patricia Powell’s Me Dying Trial.” College English Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, 2007.

“Difference and Diversity in the Women Writers Classroom.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers Third International Conference, Philadelphia, 2006.

“Paule Marshall’s Queer Problematics.” American Literature Association, San Francisco, 2006.

“Institutionalization and Change.” Turning Points, Harvard University, 2005.

“Queer Histories of the Caribbean.” Seventh Annual Eastern Caribbean Cultures Conference, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, 2004.

“Queering Caribbean History.” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2004.

“Plotting Desire ‘In the Night’.” Sixth Annual Eastern Caribbean Cultures Conference, St. Johns, Antigua, 2003.

“Obvious and Ordinary: Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John.” Thinking Sexually Across the Disciplines, Harvard University, 2003.

“Desire, Deviance, and Destruction: José Martí’s Amistad Funesta.” International Nineteenth Century Studies Conference, UC Santa Cruz, 2003.

“Bedeviled Desire: Maryse Condé’s Célanire cou-coupé.” Central New York Conference on Languages and Literatures, SUNY Cortland, 2002.

“Minor” Characters, “Minor” Desires.” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2002. Nominated for Horst Fenz Prize for best graduate student paper.

“Re-Placing Desires: Maryse Condé’s Moi, Tituba sorcière…” Re-Placing the Nation: A Graduate Student Conference, Harvard University, 2002.

“Dark and Dangerous: José Martí’s Lucía Jerez.” Fourth International Conference on Caribbean Literature, Trois Ilets, Martinique, 2001.

“(Re)reading Martí (re)reading friendship.” Efface: a Graduate Student Conference, Harvard University, 2001.

“Between Lucía Jerez and Sol del Valle: re-reading Martí's narrative of national foundation

in the light of ‘el poeta Walt Whitman.’” Narrative: An International Conference, Rice University, 2001.


Editorial Service

Article Editor, SAGE Open. 2014.

Editorial Board, The Sextant. 2009-present.

Advisory Editor, Caribbean Vistas: Quarterly Critiques of Caribbean Arts and Cultures. 2008-present.

Editorial Reviewer, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 2013.

Editorial Reviewer, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. 2007, 2009.


Teaching Experience

Salem State College Salem, MA.

Assistant Professor of English, 2005-present
Introduction to Graduate Studies in Literature I. This course introduces students to thinking and writing about literature in the context of the discipline’s academic discourse. The course focuses on familiarizing students with debates and problems relevant to the field, researching secondary literature, and writing for a scholarly audience. Fall, 2014

FYEN100 First Year Seminar: Yes Means Yes, No Means No. This course introduces students to the experience of academic exploration that is at the heart of a liberal arts education. Through the study of acts of consent, small and large, that we engage in every day, this course will explore the big ideas behind consent and the practical consequences of consent and its interpretation. Fall, 2014.

Special Topics in Literary Theory: Queer Theory. Traces the history of sexuality studies from Freud and Foucault through the explosion of queer theory, with special attention to the ways that queer theory plays out in diverse communities. Spring, 2014

Introduction to Graduate Studies in Literature II. An intensive, in-depth study of major recent critical movements and theorists from Foucault and Austin through Butler and Johnson. Spring, 2014.

World Literature II. A study of major works of world literature focusing on literatures from the Eighteenth Century to the present. Spring 2013, Spring 2014.

Gender, Identity, and Nationalism. An investigation of the ways that gender identity and nationalism intersect in twentieth and twenty-first century texts from around the world. Spring, 2013.

Literary Cannibalism. An intensive examination of Caribbean responses to colonial literary canons. Spring 2007, Spring 2012.

American Ethnic Literature Since WWII. Studies how American Ethnic literatures convey experiences of belonging and difference in a variety of communities, from the family to the nation. Fall 2007, Fall 2011.

Reading Broadly: Gender and Identity. Literary works from a broad historical and global range and a variety of genres grouped the topic of gender and identity. Fall 2011, Fall 2013

Special Topics in Literature of the World: Transnational/Transgender Literature and Film. Examines the ways that crossing gender boundaries is often allegorized as crossing national boundaries and vice versa. Spring, 2011.

Composition II for English Majors. Provides the tools needed for an English major to write and read effectively throughout a college career and beyond. Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011.

The Caribbean Experience in Literature. This course is an introduction to Caribbean literature with emphasis on the modern period. Attention is given to the development of distinctively Caribbean techniques and themes. Spring 2009, Spring 2014.

Fictions of Change. A first year seminar that explores the concept of identification through the examination of changes in gender identity. Fall 2009

Special Topics in Literature of the World: Caribbean Literature: Cannibals, Witches, and Zombies. Examines how, rather than contradict Euro-American images, many Caribbean authors have claimed the power, the value, and the complexity of cannibals, witches, zombies, and other such figures. Spring 2009.

Literary Criticism. An intensive examination of major critical statements from Plato to the present that delineate the contours and the problems of literary discourse. Spring 2008, Fall 2009, 2010, Spring 2012

Composition I. Provides the tools needed to write and read effectively throughout a college career and beyond. Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2006. Online Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Fall 2008.

Special Topics in Professional Writing: Food Writing. Guides students through the analysis of the many and increasing genres of food writing in preparation for the composition of a final project of publication quality. Fall 2008, 2010.

Special Topics in Literature of the World: Literatures of Africa and its Diaspora. Investigates the major historical, political, geographic, social, aesthetic, and imaginative concerns for Africana literature. Fall 2007.

Special Topics in Literature of the World: Canons and Revisions. Investigates postcolonial revisions of canonical texts from across the Western tradition. Spring 2007.

Contemporary American Fiction. Looks at fiction composed around the turn of the 21st century, examining the commentary it offers on Americanness and its relationship to the rest of the world. Fall 2006.

African American Literature II. Allows students to understand African American literary contributions from the modern period to the present and to appreciate the unique challenges faced by African American writers. Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Fall 2011.

Women and Fiction. Teaches students about the techniques employed by women writers to express their life experiences and their perspectives and helps students to appreciate the variety of racial, ethnic, national and social backgrounds of women writers. Spring 2006.

World Literature I. Introduces students to the first written texts from around the world. Studies how literature has developed from its beginning to 1650 with special attention to the similiarities and differences between the literatures of various places and times. Fall 2005, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2013.
Harvard University Cambridge, MA.
Lecturer on Literature, Literature Concentration, 2004-2005.

Design and teach Sophomore Tutorial. Direct Junior and Senior Tutorials. Advise Juniors and Seniors in study plan and academic choices. Develop and evaluate General Examination questions. Evaluate program curricula. Develop material for Concentration website. Train new tutors. Tutorial Board Member.



Guest Lectures, Workshops, and Speaking Engagements

“Assessing Our Impact of Student Awareness: How Do We Teach About Diversity and Difference” Pearls and Perils, Salem State University, May, 2014.

“The Race Question.” The Feminine Mystique: 50th Anniversary Celebration. Salem State University, Nov. 2013.

“Food Writing.” Workshop Series at the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA, June, 2013.

“Integrating Diversity into Course Material.” Dean’s Brown Bag Lunch Series, 2013

“Turning the Conference Paper into Publication.” Dean’s Brown Bag Lunch Series, 2012.

“Pulling the Curtain from OZ: Intentional Learning and Student Success.” Pearls and Perils, Salem State University, May, 2010.

“Academic Engagements with Diversity.” Diversity Panel. Salem State College. Salem, MA. April 12, 2010.

“Queer Families.” Diverse Persons, Diverse Families Panel, Salem State College, Fall, 2010.

“Cooking Green: Finding and Using Local Food in New England.” Salem State College 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Conference. March 9, 2009.

“Coming Out, Living Out.” Women’s Leadership Conference, Salem State College. March 3, 2008.

“Doing it All.” James Baldwin: A Celebration, Salem State College, 2008.

“Intimate Readings.” Zora Neale Hurston: A Celebration, Salem State College, 2007.

“Reading Diversity.” Diversity Conversation, Salem State College, 2006.

“Women’s Work.” American Association of University Women North Shore Branch Annual Meeting Presentation, Salem, 2006.

“Women Doing Everything.” Women’s History Month Dinner Lecture, Salem State College, 2006.

“Postcolonial and Multicultural Revisions of The Scarlet Letter.” Open Forum Lecture Series, Salem State College, 2005

“Sedgwick on Pedagogy and Affect.” Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard Winter Teaching Conference. Harvard University, 2005.

“Teaching Strategies from CUE Award Winners: A Panel.” Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard Fall Teaching Conference. Harvard University, 2004.

“(Over)reading Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz” For Bradley Epps, “Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies.” Women’s Studies, Harvard University, 2001.

“The Personal Versus the Political Versus the Academic.” Panel Discussion for Alice Jardine, “Introduction to Women’s Studies.” Women’s Studies, Harvard University, 1996 and 1997.

Languages

Spanish (near-native fluency)

French (near-native fluency)

Italian (conversational)

Latin (reading knowledge)


Professional Activities
Professional Service

Interim Chair, English, 2015-present

Co-Chair, Task Force on Comprehensive Internationalization, 2014-present

Graduate Coordinator, MA in English, 2014-present

Member, Graduate Education Council, 2014-present

Member, President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, 2013-present

Advisor, Florence Luscomb Women’s Center, 2010-present

Literature Coordinator, Department of English, 2009-present.

Assessment Liaison, Department of English, 2009-present.

Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the CORE/PAGGE, 2011-present

Member, College-Wide Assessment Committee, 2006-2013

Chair, Literature Sequence Committee, Department of English, 2007-2013.

Member, Film Studies Committee, Department of English, 2010-2014.

Member, PARCC Engagement Team, 2011-2012

Member, Promotions Committee, 2011-2012

Member, Student Life Committee, 2008-2009.

Member, Foundations of Excellence Learning Communities Committee, 2008-2009

Member, Foundations of Excellence Roles and Purposes Committee, 2007-2009.

Member, Foreign Language Waiver Committee, 2007-2009.

Member, Library/Media Development Committee, 2006-2008.

Member, Philosophy Department Hiring Committee, 2006-2007.

Member, Retention Committee, 2006-2007.

Member, Nomination Committee, 2006-2007.

Faculty Advisor, The English Society, 2005-2009.

Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on the Core, Department of English, 2013-present.

Member, Film Studies Search Committee, Department of English, 2013-present.

Member, Composition Committee, Department of English, 2007-2010.

Member, Facilities Committee, Department of English, 2008-2009.

Member, Major/Minor Committee, Department of English, 2005-2006; 2007-2008; 2013-present.

Chair, World Literature Search Committee, Department of English, 2007-2008.

Chair, World Literature and Composition Search Committee, Department of English, 2007-2008.

Member, Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee, Department of English, 2006-2007.

Chair, Literature Sequence Committee, Department of English, 2005-2006.

Member, Ad Hoc Facilities Committee, Department of English, 2005-2006.

Member, Professional Writing Hiring Committee, Department of English, 2006.

Faculty Affiliate of the Senior Common Room, Lowell House, Harvard University 2004-2005.

Advisory Board Member, The Humanities Center, Harvard University, 2004-2005.

Student Advisory Board Member, The Humanities Center, Harvard University, 2003-2004.

Tutorial Board Hiring Committee Representative. Departments of Literature and Comparative Literature, Harvard University, 2001.
Professional Associations

Modern Languages Association (MLA)

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)

Caribbean Studies Association (CSA)





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