September 11-13, 2015 – University of Toronto, Canada





The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto organizes the IV International Conference on “The voice of grandparents: identity, memory, and cultural patrimony” which will take place on September 11, 12 and 13, 2015, at the ROBARTS library, located at 130 St. George Street, on the University campus.

An initiative of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, this conference is organized at the University of Toronto for the first time. It will give continuity to the work presented at the three conferences previously organized in partnership with: the University of the Azores, in 2009 and 2013, and the Universidade Aberta and Pro Dignitate Foundation, in 2011.

The conference seeks to “give a voice” not just to grandparents but also to grandchildren in an increasingly mobile and fragmented society. Aiming to reflect on an interdisciplinary area of study, researchers from all continents and scientific fields are invited to share their studies. The area of research we are aiming to cover includes relevant topics, such as: grand-parenting, intergenerational relations, identity formation, the sense of belonging, the discovery of roots, the transmission of values and cultural heritage, and the wealth of affect that elders bring to grand-parenting.

Immigrant grandparents play an important role in these areas. Better knowledge of the impact of the grandparents’ presence in the lives of grandchildren, and more studies on the effects of co-habitation may contribute to the implementation of favorable policies, thereby contributing as well to an improvement of family life in the country of origin and/or in the host country.

Due to its size, the Portuguese Diaspora presents challenges that a forum of researchers assembled in a space fit for dialogue, debate, and the sharing of knowledge might be able to address.




  • Identities


This theme relates to processes linked to personal, social and cultural identity formation, to the intersecting of cultures and traditions, and to the relationship of migrants with the country of origin and the host country.


  • New concepts of family and intergerational relationships


This theme reflects the new types of contemporary families and the change processes operated by the different actors that compose them, with a focus on the relationships among generations, in particular on the current role of grandparents.


  • Language, literature, arts and media


This theme covers the representation of relationships between grandchildren and grandparents in literature, cinema and the other arts, in the media and on the internet.


  • Cultural Heritage


This theme deals with the role of grandparents as transmitters of knowledge and culture, namely family histories, moral values, religion and beliefs, fun and games, gastronomy, language and other aspects of the cultural heritage.


  • Health, education and quality of life


This theme focuses on the influence on the mental, physical health, and solidarity that result from the modes of relating across generations, as well as on the learning exchanges that take place between grandparents and their grandchildren.





Proposals for papers or posters for the IV Conference should be sent until April 30, 2015, to:


Proposals can be submitted, individually or in group, in one of the three Conference languages: Portuguese, English or French. Students, artists and other interested parties are encouraged to submit proposals for poster sessions. All proposals will be submitted to the Scientific Committee. The registration to the fourth Conference must include the following information:


1) An abstract with title, three keywords, and summary of the objectives, methodology, and research results and/or recommendations (up to 250 words).


2) A short CV which lists: name, contact email and phone number, institution or entity of origin, country, academic training, and three publications in the last five years.


The maximum time allotted for the oral presentation of papers is 15 minutes. The posters should measure 60 cm. X 91cm. (24” x 36”).




Until 30 April 2015               – submission of proposals

Until 30 may 2015                – notification of proposal results

Until 30 June 2015              – conference registration




The Organizing Committee of the IV International Conference assumes no responsibility for transportation (international or domestic), accommodation, and food expenses.



Registration modalities* Until June 30th After June 30th
Participants with papers $50.00 $80.00
Participants without papers Free Free
Students with papers $20.00 $30.00
Students Free Free
Social program (to be announced)

* Includes certificate of participation and Conference documentation.




Manuela Marujo, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Toronto

Maria Izilda de Matos, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo

Maria João Dodman, Dept. of Language, Literature & Linguistics, York University, Toronto

Natália Ramos, CMERI-Universidade Aberta, Lisbon

Rosa Maria Simas, CES-University of the Azores

Roseli Boschilia, Dept. of History, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brasil



Manuela Marujo, University of Toronto

Maria João Dodman, York University

Ana Paula Ribeiro, Coordinator of the Portuguese Language Program in Canada, Camões, I.P.

Fabiano Rocha, Librarian, Robarts Library, University of Toronto.

Ilda Januário, Researcher, CRIA-Universidade Nova de Lisboa (retired Senior Research Officer – OISE/University of Toronto)



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