University News

Guest Lecturer to Speak About The "Abnormal" Body

March 31, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - Ato Quayson, an English professor and director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada), will present two lectures this week engaging the textual representation of the difference of "abnormal" body.

Sponsored by Western's African American studies and English and journalism departments, Quayson's talks are part of WIU's Disability Awareness Week (March 31-April 4) activities and they support the 2008-2009 Universitywide theme, "Health and Wellness: Challenges and Responsibilities."

Quayson will discuss "The Autistic Dynamic in Samuel Beckett & J. M. Coetzee" at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2 in Stipes Hall 121. His second presentation about "Oxford Street, Accra: Globalization, Spatial Logics, & Street Life" will be at 2 p.m. Friday, April 3 in the University Union Sandburg Lounge.

An accomplished scholar, Quayson earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Ghana and his Ph.D. at Cambridge University. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, then he returned to Cambridge to become a Fellow at Pembroke College and a member of the English faculty, where he eventually became a Reader in Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. He has published significant work on a broad range of topics, including postcolonialism, African literatures and magical realism.

His most recent book is titled "Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation" (Columbia University Press, 2007).

"This book engages the very different critical and theoretical currents of postcolonialism, formalism and the new disability studies. In practical terms, in the text Quayson engages the textual representations of the different or "abnormal" body," said Mark Mossman, an associate professor of English and director of graduate studies for the English department.

Cosponsors for Quayson's lectures include the University Theme Committee, the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President, Disability Support Services, Visiting Lectures Committee and the Office of Student Activities.

For more information, or to request accommodation to fully participate in this event, call Mossman at (309) 298-1322.

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