Ato Quayson

Professor of African and Postcolonial Literary Studies

Ato Quayson

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Ato Quayson is Professor of African and Postcolonial Literary Studies at NYU. He took his BA (Hons; First Class) from the University of Ghana and gained a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge.

He was elected Vice-President of the African Studies Association in 2018 and will become President from November 2019.

He has published 5 monographs and edited 8 collections, along with publishing several articles in a variety of fields including African and postcolonial literature and literary theory, disability studies, urban studies, and diaspora studies, among others. His edited collections include the 2-volume Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature (2012) and the Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism (2013). Most important monographs include Strategic Transformations in Nigerian Writing (1997), Calibrations: Reading for the Social (2003), and Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation (2007). His most recent monograph, Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2014) was co-winner of the Urban History Association’s Best Book Prize (non-North American category) in 2015. The book has also been featured in a special forum on “Concepts and Methodologies” in the (PMLA) in March 2016. He is currently completing a monograph onTragedy and Postcolonial Literature for Cambridge University Press. Professor Quayson is founding Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.

Previous appointments held include University Professor at the University of Toronto (2016), and Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies (2005-2016). Prior to Toronto, he was also Lecturer, then Reader in Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literature at the University of Cambridge (1995-2005), Director of the Centre for African Studies (1997-2005) and Fellow of Pembroke College (1995-2005). Other appointments have included Chair of English for the International Baccalaureate (2005-2007), Visiting Professorship at UC-Berkeley (2000), Research Fellowship at the Du Bois Institute for African American Studies at Harvard (2004), and the Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Humanities at the Newhouse Centre, Wellesley College (2011-2012). He is Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2013) and has served on the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom (2005-2010) and European Research Council (2011-2017).