Dr. Maria João Dodman is Associate Professor at York University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. She teaches a variety of culture, literature and cinema courses in the program of Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies. She is a native of the Azores, Portugal, and she immigrated to Canada in 1989. Her research interests include Renaissance literature, colonial encounters and representations of beauty, ugliness and otherness in early modern Iberian literature. In addition, Dr. Dodman is also interested in contemporary Azorean culture and literature with emphasis on the works of writer José Dias de Melo. She has two on-going research projects; one that examines the role of the elderly in the preservation of oral narratives. The other project seeks to contribute to the discussions of old age and ageing by examining the role of fiction in the representation of new and positive ideals of this stage of life. This project also addresses the role of fiction in its ability to promote human desire, its power to move us towards empathy in a greater understanding of our collective humanity.
Dr. Dodman believes in the value of community and the need to be an engaged citizen both on and off-campus. She has and continues to serve in a variety of capacities at the university and within the Portuguese community. She has been a member of the advisory council for the consulate of Portugal in Toronto, and in 2009 she received the ACAPO (Alliance of Portuguese Clubs and Associations of Ontario) Merit Award. She acts as a Liaison between the University and several Toronto secondary schools, by working with students and teachers in order to promote post secondary education. Dr. Dodman is often invited as a guest speaker and her articles appear regularly in newspapers and magazines. She is the co-chair of the Canadian Centre for Azorean Research and Studies (CCARS), and associate editor (literature and language) for the Portuguese Studies review.