CCSRE Chautauqua | Ato Quayson | Tragedy and Postcolonial Literature
Please join us on November 4th for our autumn quarter Faculty Research Fellows Chautauqua. This book salon event will feature 2021-2022 fellow Ato Quayson focusing on his new book, Tragedy and Postcolonial Literature. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Branislav Jakovljević (Theater and Performance Studies).
Ato Quayson is the Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of English at Stanford.
His book examines tragedy and tragic philosophy from the Greeks through Shakespeare to the present day. It explores key themes in the links between suffering and ethics through postcolonial literature. Ato Quayson reconceives how we think of World literature under the singular and fertile rubric of tragedy. He draws from many key works – Oedipus Rex, Philoctetes, Medea, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear – to establish the main contours of tragedy. Quayson uses Shakespeare's Othello, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Tayeb Salih, Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison, Samuel Beckett and J.M. Coetzee to qualify and expand the purview and terms by which Western tragedy has long been understood. Drawing on key texts such as The Poetics and The Nicomachean Ethics, and augmenting them with Frantz Fanon and the Akan concept of musuo (taboo), Quayson formulates a supple, insightful new theory of ethical choice and the impediments against it. This is a major book from a leading critic in literary studies.
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