Marlene Goldman is a writer, filmmaker, and English professor at the University of Toronto. Her most recent work examines the connection between shame and stigma, specifically as relates to age. Exploring her subject through the lenses of literature, film, street art, and technology, Dr. Goldman seeks to re-imagine marginalized identities while translating her research into accessible narrative forms.
The author of four books and numerous scholarly articles, Dr. Goldman has contributed chapters to studies of Canadian literature and presented at symposiums around the world. Keynote speeches on the overlap between literature, neurology, and psychiatry have brought her to London, Austria, Italy, and China, while her 2017 book Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada continued her investigation of the theme. Her upcoming project Performing Shame: Simulating Stigmatized Minds and Bodies will consider the intersections between aging and technology. The recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grant, Dr. Goldman is working in partnership with Toronto-based company Klick Health. Together, they are using innovative technology that simulates the tremors resulting from Parkinson’s disease with the goal of fostering clinical empathy for millions of North Americans living with movement disorders.
Dr. Goldman’s artistic output provides her new avenues to examine the subjects she studies in her academic life. Her first short film, Piano Lessons, was adapted from Alice Munro’s In Sight of the Lake. As writer, director, and co-producer, Dr. Goldman brought a person-centred perspective to the film. Torching the Dusties, an adaptation of the Margaret Atwood short story of the same name, followed in 2018. Both films serve as accessible viewing as well as a case studies for clinicians, caregivers, and people living with age-related disorders. Dr. Goldman hopes her interdisciplinary approach will serve to broaden awareness of a spectrum of challenges including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vision loss.