A native of Portugal, Manuela Mourão came to the United States in 1984 for graduate studies. Upon completion of her PhD in Comparative Literature, she returned to her homeland. In 1992, she once again made the United States her home. Mourão, an Associate Professor of English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA notes that her work as a painter is greatly influenced by her rich cultural heritage and the theoretical and conceptual ideas that anchor her scholarly writings. This is exemplified by her recent work in the exhibition, CROSS-REFERENCES, which explores the “aesthetics of dereliction”, an artistic practice made popular in the Romantic age and her 2007/2008 solo exhibition WHITEWASH, a multidisciplinary exploration of sixteenth century Portuguese maritime expansion and its impact on the Portuguese concept of race. Mourao’s multi-layered and abstracted paintings, rich in both color and texture, have been exhibited internationally.