maîtrise, études cinématographiques, Paris III, La Nouvelle Sorbonne (1992)
PhD, French literature, UC Santa Cruz (2000)
Haitian culture, literature, and society; Film Studies; French Cultural Studies; Digital Storytelling; Critical Humanitarian Studies
Valerie Kaussen's monograph, Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and US Imperialism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), locates Haitian literary modernity at the forefront of struggles against transnational empire and global colonialism and historicizes recurrent themes of slavery, labor migration, diaspora and revolution in the context of anti-colonial and anti-globalization politics. Her current project, entitled, Do-it-Yourself Humanitarianism: Crowdsourcing and Control in Post-Disaster Haiti, is an analysis of the so-called "technology revolution" in the humanitarian response to the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake. The project analyzes humanitarian organizations' reports, promotional materials, and visual culture, as well as interviews, and draws upon Kaussen's own experience witnessing the quake and following the post-quake relief and reconstruction project over a period of three years.
Kaussen teaches courses on Haitian Studies (including representations of the Haitian Revolution, vodou, and "disaster" in both US and Haitian popular culture); French cultural studies and literature; World Cinema; and Digital Storytelling. Some of her courses include, "French and Francophone New Wave Cinema," "Haitian Creole Culture," "Environmentalism and Mapping Space in Haitian Literature," "Representations of the Haitian Revolution," "Surrealist Film and Literature in France and the French Caribbean," "Direct Cinema in a Global Context," and "The Politics of Digital Humanitarianism."