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Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2023

Ato Quayson
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Ankhi Mukherjee
Affiliation:
University of Oxford

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023
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Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum

George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, marked a watershed in reactions to anti-Black racism in the United States and elsewhere. Intense demonstrations around the world followed. Within literary studies, the demonstrations accelerated the scrutiny of the literary curriculum, the need to diversify the curriculum, and the need to incorporate more Black writers. Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum is a major collection that aims to address these issues from a global perspective. An international team of leading scholars illustrates the necessity and advantages of reform from specific decolonial perspectives, with evidence-based arguments from classroom contexts, as well as establishing new critical agendas. The significance of Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum lies in the complete overhaul it proposes for the study of English literature. It reconnects English studies, the humanities, and the modern, international university to issues of racial and social justice. This book is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Ato Quayson is the Jean G. and Morris M. Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Chair of the Department of English at Stanford University. His books include the two-volume edited Cambridge History of Postcolonial LiteratureTragedy and Postcolonial Literature, which won the Warren-Brooks Prize for Literary Criticism and Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism, which won the Urban History Association Prize. He is Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry and host of Cambridge Contours: The Cambridge Literary Studies Hour. He has also curated Critic.Reading.Writing, a YouTube channel dedicated to themes in the interdisciplinary literary humanities. He is elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ankhi Mukherjee is Professor of English and World Literatures at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Wadham College. Her books include Unseen City: The Psychic Lives of the Urban Poor (2021), which won Columbia University’s Robert S. Liebert Award, and What Is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (2014), which won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature. She has coedited A Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture (2014) and edited After Lacan (2018). She is currently writing A Very Short Introduction to Postcolonial Literature (Oxford University Press, 2024).

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