Irene Marques is a bilingual writer writing in English and Portuguese and an academic, holding a PhD in Comparative Literature and a Masters in both Comparative Literature and French Literature, all from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. She currently teaches in the African Studies Program at the University of Toronto and the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at York University and occasionally also at Ryerson University in the Department of English. In the past she has taught at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and also worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Marques’ academic writing intersects heavily with her creative writing as both tend to explore issues of personal and collective identity, mystical and mythical understandings of self, world and universe, gender, race, empire, class, cultural syncretism, the Portuguese colonial wars in Africa and the Portuguese fascist regime. Her academic and creative endeavors are epistemological and ontological inquiries that display the individual as an entity constantly yearning to be “whole” in a markedly socio-political world that divides, dissects, annihilates, humiliates, and dismisses multidimensional (non-rational) intelligences and their enlightened ways. Her narratives are multifaceted, transcultural, transhistorical and transtemporal, and rely heavily on allegory, metaphor, lyricism, and magic-realism.
Marques is the author of three poetry collections, as well as the Portuguese language short story collection Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo: Crónicas Desejadas. Her most recent works include the novels My House is a Mansion and Uma Casa no Mundo, as well as a collection of short stories titled Procurando Maravilhas. The latter two are due for release later this year. Her academic publications include the manuscripts Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender and Cultural Identity and Critical Approaches: The Works of Chin Ce, Volume 1 (Editor) and numerous articles in international scholarly journals.