Marlene Goldman is a writer, filmmaker, and English professor at the University of Toronto. Her most recent work explores the question of how we decide what’s pathological. Who sets the definitions, the impact of biomedical labels on the people who receive them, and the role of history in shaping stories about illness have all been treated in her artistic and academic career.
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 Austria, Italy, and China, while her latest book Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada continues her investigation of the theme.
Dr. Goldman’s artistic output provides her new avenues to examine the subjects she studies in her academic life. Her latest project is Piano Lessons, a short film adapted from Alice Munro’s In Sight of the Lake. As writer, director, and co-producer, Dr. Goldman brings a person-centred perspective to the film. With its emphasis on the tacit knowledge and capacity for relationships that persist in people with age-related dementia, the film serves as accessible viewing as well as a case study for clinicians, caregivers, and people with dementia. Continuing her film work, Dr. Goldman is currently developing an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s short story Torching the Dusties. She has recently celebrated the release of Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada and hopes her interdisciplinary approach serves to broaden awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.