Valérie K. Orlando Receives Distinguished Chair Award

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Valérie K. Orlando Receives Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair Award to France for research and teaching at the Université-Lumière Lyon II, Lyon, France

 Title of Project: Midnight Novelists, Experimental Narratives, and the Influence of the French New Novel on Authors of the Maghreb: 1950-to the New Millennium

This book project seeks to establish a link between authors using experimental, avant-garde styles, notably those of the French New Novel in France, and Maghrebi authors (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) writing at the dawn of decolonization into the postcolonial moment.  The work spans 1950 to the present and will contribute to understanding the chronology of writing of French expression from the Maghreb. It establishes thematic connections from canonical authors (Assia Djebar, Rachid Boudjedra, Kateb Yacine), to new authors (Kamel Daoud, Salim Bachi, Samir Toumi, Maïssa Bey), allowing us to understand to what extent experimental writers of the 1950s-60s carried through to the 1970s, 80s and 90s, eventually shaping the thematic and stylistic aspects of the literature of the contemporary Maghreb.

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board are pleased to announce that Valérie K. Orlando of the University of Maryland, College Park, has received the Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair award to France in Francophone literatures and cultures.  Orlando will research and teach at the Université de Lyon II-Lumière as part of a project to study the influence of the literary avant-guard styles and genres of 1950s-60s France on authors of the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) as they emerged from colonialism.

Orlando is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.  Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State.  Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States.  Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail