Valérie K. Orlando is professor of French and Francophone Literatures in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Screening Morocco

Contemporary Film in a Changing Society

By Valérie K. Orlando

Since 1999 and the death of King Hassan II, Morocco has experienced a dramatic social transformation. Encouraged by the more openly democratic climate fostered by young King Mohammed VI, filmmakers have begun to explore the sociocultural and political debates of their country while also seeking to document the untold stories of a dark past. Screening Morocco: Contemporary Film in a Changing Society focuses on Moroccan films produced and distributed from 1999 to the present.

Between Sea and Sahara

An Algerian Journal

By Eugene Fromentin
Translation by Blake Robinson
Introduction by Valérie K. Orlando

Between Sea and Sahara gives us Algeria in the third decade of colonization. Written in the 1850s by the gifted painter and extraordinary writer Eugene Fromentin, the many-faceted work is travelogue, fiction, stylized memoir, and essay on art. Fromentin paints a compelling word picture of Algeria and its people, questioning France’s—and his own—role there.

Nomadic Voices of Exile

Feminine Identity in the Francophone Literature of the Maghreb

By Valérie K. Orlando

Contemporary French writing on the Maghreb—that part of Africa above the Sahara—is truly postmodern in scope, the rich product of multifaceted histories promoting the blending of two worlds, two identities, two cultures, and two languages. Nomadic Voices of Exile demonstrates how that postmodern sentiment has altered perceptions concerning Maghrebian feminine identity since the end of the French-colonial era.


Athens and Jerusalem
For more than two thousand years, philosophers and theologians have wrestled with the irreconcilable opposition between Greek rationality (Athens) and biblical revelation (Jerusalem).


Paying Calls in Shangri-La
Scenes from a Woman’s Life in American Diplomacy
Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture.


Citizenship, Belonging, and Political Community in Africa
Dialogues between Past and Present
Africa, it is often said, is suffering from a crisis of citizenship. At the heart of the contemporary debates this apparent crisis has provoked lie dynamic relations between the present and the past, between political theory and political practice, and between legal categories and lived experience.


When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike
In 1955, sixty-seven-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood became the first woman to solo hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one through hike. Michelle Houts and Erica Magnus bring us the first children’s book about her feat and the unexpected challenges she encountered on the journey she initially called a “lark.”


Making the Mark
Gender, Identity, and Genital Cutting
Why do female genital cutting practices persist? How does circumcision affect the rights of girls in a culture where initiation forms the lynchpin of the ritual cycle at the core of defining gender, identity, and social and political status?