Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies Annual Conference 2016 in conjunction with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa, March 4-5, 2016.

Conference Theme: Human Rights and the Public Sphere in Africa


Friday, March 4th Program:

Welcome and Keynote Lecture, Venue: River Building Room 2220

5:30pm – 7:00pm – “Ethnicity, Multiculturalism, and Human Rights in Africa” by Ato Quayson, Professor of English & Director, Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto.

Respondent: Kamari Clarke Associate Professor of International and Global Studies, Carleton University.

 Saturday, March 5th Program

Keynote Speaker

Photo of Ato Quayson

Ato Quayson is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto, where he has been since August 2005. He did his BA at the University of Ghana and took his PhD from Cambridge University in 1995. He then went on to the University of Oxford as a Research Fellow, returning to Cambridge in Sept 1995 to become a Fellow at Pembroke College and a member of the Faculty of English where he eventually became a Reader in Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies.

Prof Quayson was a Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar from 1991-1994 and is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society. In 2004 he held a Fellowship at the Du Bois Institute for African-American Studies at Harvard University. He has also been Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and has lectured widely in places such as Istanbul, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Cape Town, Bergen, and on many campuses in the US, the UK, and in Europe more generally.

He was elected to a five-year term on the Modern Language Association’s executive committee of the Division on Postcolonial Studies and Literature in Culture in 2008 and also as a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. Professor Quayson was elected a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada in 2013.

Professor Quayson has published widely on African literature, postcolonial studies and in literary theory. He has authored, co-authored or co-edited twelve books, among which are: The Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Oxford St., Accra; Urban Evolution, Street Life and Itineraries of the Transnational (Duke University Press, 2014;), Blackwell Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism Studies, ed. with Girish Daswani (New York: Blackwell, 2013), The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature, ed., 2 volumes. (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), and Calibrations: Reading for the Social (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2003).

Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism (Duke UP, 2014), was winner of the 2015 Urban History Association Best Book on Cities (non-North American category). It is also going to be featured in a special forum on “Concepts and Methodologies” in the PMLA in March, 2016. Professor Quayson is the General Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.