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Valerie Orlando

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Professor, French
Professor, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Professor, Cinema and Media Studies

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Curriculum Vitae

Valérie K. Orlando is Professor of French and Francophone Literatures at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the recipient of the Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair Award (Université de Lyon-Lumière II, Lyon, France, fall 2019) and was Research Fellow at the Collegium de Lyon (L’institut d’études avancées de l’université de Lyon, spring 2020). She is the author of six books, the most recent of which include: The Algerian New Novel: The Poetics of a Modern Nation, 1950-1979 (2017), New African Cinema (2017), and Screening Morocco: Contemporary Film in a Changing Society (2011). She has published with Cécile Accilien Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives (2021), with Pamela Pears, Paris and the Marginalized Author: Treachery, Alienation, Queerness, and Exile (2018) and with Sandra M. Cypess, Reimaging the Caribbean: Conversations among the Creole, English, French and Spanish Caribbean (2014). She publishes articles in French and English on a wide variety of subjects in the areas of Literary Studies, Women’s Studies, African Cinema, and French and Francophone Studies, specifically focusing on Africa and the Caribbean. Since 2004, she has worked as Series Editor for After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France with Lexington Books.

Book cover for the Algerian New Novel


Ici ou ailleurs c’est pareil’ dans un ‘monde-en-mouvement’: La littérature-monde de Wajdi Mouawad: Transculturelle, transnationale et sans frontières

An analysis of Wajdi Mouawad’s plays through the concept of La littérature-monde

School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures | French

Lead: Valerie Orlando

“‘Ici ou ailleurs c’est pareil’ dans un ‘monde-en-mouvement’: La littérature-monde de Wajdi Mouawad: Transculturelle, transnationale et sans frontières”, La Revue des Lettres Romanes, Dossier thématique « Interroger le pouvoir herméneutique des littératures francophones » Eds. Boutaghou- Bessière-Dehoux (Vol. 75, n° 1-2, 2021 :101-119)

This article analyzes Wajdi Mouawad’s plays through the concept of La littérature-monde. His many works encourage thinking about possible explorations in stories written in French outside the Metropolis. Written from several diasporic perspectives - Lebanon, Canada, France - Mouawad portrays the characters in his plays, Littoral, Incendies, Forêts and Ciels as those of a multicultural, cosmopolitan world, comprised of many pasts and elsewheres. His works inspire reflecting on the positionality of words such as “French” and “French-speaking”. In Mouawad’s works, these labels are displaced by a literary universe that is not rooted in a single colonial or postcolonial past, but rather conceived in terms of “relations” (to use the concept of Édouard Glissant) with other identities and reference points of our contemporary world. Mouawad forces us to compare and contrast regions and nations, borders and peripheries, heres and elsewheres, and how these are linked through the thousands of stories of displacement currently unfolding on our planet.

Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives

An important and compelling volume that adds to the scholarship on Haiti

School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Lead: Valerie Orlando
Non-ARHU Contributor(s): Cécile Accilien, Jessica Adams, Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Anne M. François, Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Elizabeth Langley, Agnès Peysson-Zeiss, John D. Ribó, Joubert Satyre, Darren Staloff, Bonnie Thomas, Don E. Walicek, Sophie Watt

This volume is the first to focus on teaching about Haiti’s complex history and culture from a multidisciplinary perspective. Making broad connections between Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean, contributors provide pedagogical guidance on how to approach the country from different lenses in course curricula. They offer practical suggestions, theories on a wide variety of texts, examples of syllabi, and classroom experiences. Teaching Haiti dispels stereotypes associating Haiti with disaster, poverty, and negative ideas of Vodou, going beyond the simplistic neocolonial, imperialist, and racist descriptions often found in literary and historical accounts. Instructors in diverse subject areas discuss ways of reshaping old narratives through women’s and gender studies, poetry, theater, art, religion, language, politics, history, and popular culture, and they advocate for including Haiti in American and Latin American studies courses.