Mário Avelar holds a Phd in American Literature (Lisbon University, 1993), with a thesis on Sylvia Plath’s poetry. He is Professor of English and American Studies at the Portuguese Open University, where he has been teaching since 1998. He is Director of the research center of Lisbon University Cascais Crossroad of the Arts, financed by King Luis I Foundation. Early this year he was appointed Vice-President of the Lisbon Geographical Society. He is researcher of ULICES – University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies, and member of the Portuguese Academy of History and of the Portuguese Navy Academy. He has been coordinating the Higher Education and Science Commission of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries since 2015. In 1985, when he was a junior assistant lecturer at Lisbon University, he received a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Among other former functions stands out the presidency of the Anglo-American Portuguese Studies Association (2009-2011), and his membership of the boards of the English European Studies Association (2009-2011) and of the Religious Cultures Research Centre (Portuguese Catholic University)(2012-2016). Between 2002 and 2006 he was vice-Dean of the Portuguese Open University.
His main research fields include American Studies, Comparative Studies and Film Studies. His latest book on Poetry and Visual Arts has just been published by Imprensa Nacional, along with his Collected Poems (Coreografando melodias no rumor das imagens). He is also author of several works on the above mentioned fields, among which stand out books like O Nascimento de uma nação, nas origens da literatura Americana (Cosmos), História(s) da Literatura Americana, Universidade (Aberta), Sylvia Plath, poesia e quotidiano num diálogo de tradições (Cosmos), and the recently published essays “Andrei Tarkovsky’s Imaginary: Word, Silence, and Meaning” (Journal of Literature and Art Studies), “Alexandria, the Building of an Imaginary City – Frontiers and Silent, Inner Revolutions”( Kong, M. S. Ming et al, eds. Modernity, Frontiers and Revolutions), “Ekphrasis, a narrative tromp l’oeil and something more.” (Propeller, 3),and “Facticity versus factitiousness – Thom Gunn’s poems on Ander Gunn’s untitled photographs” (Caldeira, Isabel et al, coord. The Edge of One of Many Circles). He is the author of two novels, the latest being Inveja – uma novela académica [Envy – An Academic Novel] (Assírio & Alvim). He has translated several English-speaking authors, such as Herman Melville, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Mary Renault, Robert Lowell, and Lewis Carroll.