Valerie Anishchenkova is the Director of the Arabic Program and the Arabic Language Flagship Program.
She received Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to joining University of Maryland, she taught Arabic language, literature, and culture classes at Tufts University, University of Michigan, and Middlebury Summer School. Her pedagogical experiences include Arabic language curricular development, as well as creating various culture and film courses such as "Narrating War Zones: Cinematic and Literary Gulf and Chechen War Representations," "Sexuality and Gender in Arabic Literature and Film," "Fascinating Monsters: Representing Arabs in American Pop Culture vs. Americans in Arab Pop Culture." She is also core faculty in the Film Studies Progam and core affiliate in Comparative Literature.
Her research areas are identity studies, modern Arabic literature and culture, film and television studies, cultural discourses on war, and sexuality studies. Her book Autobiographical Identities in Contemporary Arab Culture was published in 2014 with the Edinburgh University Press (UK).