05.23.2016

A reflection on Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila that sets the novel in the context of African and world literature. 

02.08.2014

I just finished reading a fascinating appetizer to John Carlin’s new book on Nelson Mandela, Knowing Mandela.

12.06.2013

Some months ago when news of Mandela’s illness began to trickle into the media I decided to try and ensure that my 12-year-old knew something about the great man beyond the coverage to be found on the news.

12.03.2013

Is there something to be said for looking at Facebook as one of a long genealogy of modes of reader/viewer identification?

10.10.2013

I first met Kofi Awoonor as an excitable 17-year-old high school student then in the Sixth Form.

09.11.2009

Allow me to take undue advantage of double vision and describe Oxford Street from the perspective of an erstwhile denizen of Accra as well as that of someone who has lived abroad for many years.

09.09.2009

The evidence of material on African cities does not inspire confidence.  They are increasingly overcrowded with no clear plan for matching population growth to available facilities.  Sewage and garbage disposal are perennial problems. The hope some five decades ago when many countries gained freedom from their former colonial masters was that the cities would act as engines of growth.

04.27.2009

Readers of Things Fall Apart will recall the moment in the penultimate chapter of  the novel when the gathering of the people of Umuofia is rudely interrupted by messengers from the white man. The messengers are confronted by Okonkwo, who happens to have taken a position at the very edge of the gathering.

Ato Quayson's picture
Ato Quayson

Ato Quayson is the Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of English at Stanford. He studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Ghana and took his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge after which he held a Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford before returning to Cambridge to become Reader in Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literature in the Faculty of English from 1995-2005. He was also Director of the Centre for African Studies and a Fellow of Pembroke College while at Cambridge. Prior to Stanford he was Professor of African and Postcolonial Literature at New York University (2017-2019) and Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto (2005-2017). In 2016 he was appointed University Professor at the University of Toronto, the highest distinction that the university can bestow.

He was President of the African Studies Association (2019-2020) and is an elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, and of the British Academy.