An alumnus of the University of Ghana, Prof Ato Quayson has been selected to be chairman of Stanford University’s new Department of African and African American Studies in the UK.
This is expected to happen after the institution’s Board of Trustees approves the creation of a department and officially opens it in January 2024.
Ato Quayson is currently the Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of English at Stanford.
His research interests include African post-colonial literature, modern diaspora studies, and urban studies.
Prof Quayson is said to have been a prominent contributor to the proposed department.
According to Stanford’s website, he chaired the committee that issued a report recommending its funding, staffing, faculty hiring, curriculum, and major and minor requirements.
From his undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana, Prof Quayson 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.
Before 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.