Un-othering Through Artistic Exchange: A Dialogue between Inua Ellams and Professor Ato Quayson
Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist, and designer. He is an ambassador of the Ministry of Stories and his published books of poetry include Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales, The Wire-Headed Heathen, #Afterhours, and The Half-God of Rainfall-an epic story in verse. His first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Frince First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and his fourth Barber Shop Chronicles sold out two runs at England’s National Theatre. He recently completed his first full poetry collection, The Actual, is currently touring An Evening With An Immigrant and working on several commissions across stage and screen. He lives and works in London, where he founded the Midnight Run, a nocturnal urban excursion. Heis a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Ato Quayson is the Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of English at Stanford. He studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Ghana and 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. He was also Director of the Centre for African Studies and a Fellow of Pembroke College while at Cambridge. Prior to Stanford he was Professor of African and Postcolonial Literature at New York University and Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. In 2016 he was appointed University Professor at the University of Toronto, the highest distinction that the university can bestow. Professor Quayson has published 6 monographs and 8 edited volumes. His monographs include Strategic Transformations in Nigerian Writing, Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice, or Process?, Calibrations: Reading for the Social, and Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation. Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism was co-winner of the Urban History Association's 2015 Best Book Prize (non-North America) and was named in The Guardian as one of the 10 Best Books on Cities in 2014. Professor Quayson has served as President of the African Studies Association. He is an elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, and of the British Academy.