Event Details

  • October 12, 2017
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Free


  • Frost Library, Amherst College
  • 61 Quadrangle Drive
  • Amherst, MA 01002

Event Description

Join for Ato Quayson’s keynote address: “Aesthetic Judgment in the Era of the Digital.” Quayson is professor of English and director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto. His interests include postcolonial and diasporic writing, literary theory, Shakespeare, representations of disability, and magical realism. Marshall McLuhan famously noted that “the medium is the message.” Writing in 1964, he had in mind primarily televisual and radio cultures. But what do we make now of the specific character of aesthetic judgement in an era of electronic multimodality made available by and through the internet with respect to text, still images, film, sound, and infrastructure? Furthermore, the telling of stories has historically provided humans with the means of social identification, and also with ways to invite others’ identification with the self. Story-telling has evolved from oral stories, to newspapers and the novel, to the soap operas and telenovelas, to reality TV shows, to the social media we have today. If stories shape our view of the world, then in what ways are the different media of telling stories in the world today affecting the shaping of aesthetic judgement? The lecture will be devised as a series of provocations around these and related questions. Ato Quayson’s talk is part of Amherst’s Digital Africas Symposium addressing how 21st century sub-Saharan African writers use and respond to digital technologies. More information on the symposium can be found here.

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