Event Recaps | 15 May 2022

The Deep Read – A Conversation with Yaa Gyasi


On May 15, 2022 novelist Yaa Gyasi and UC Santa Cruz Professor Emerita of Literature Karen Tei Yamashita spoke at the Quarry Amphitheater, as we closed the book on the 2022 Deep Read exploration of Transcendent Kingdom.

Watch the video of the event here.

Digging in to Transcendent Kingdom

This program is all about reading deeply with the help from scholars at UC Santa Cruz. Over 4 weeks starting in mid-April, we read Yaa Gyasi’s novel together.

Here’s what we did:

  • Faculty Salon
    On May 4 we hosted the 2022 Deep Read Salon where we discussed Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom with UCSC Chancellor Cynthia LariveVilashini Cooppan (Literature and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies) and Gina Athena Ulysse(Feminist Studies). Watch the video
  • Community Conversations
    We’ll had online forums for each of the weekly explorations of the novel where Deep readers can poses questions, posted comments, and engaged with fellow Deep Readers. 

In Spring Quarter 2022, Porter College hosted a course (PRTR 151A) for UCSC students titled “Yaa Gyasi and Contemporary African Diasporic Literature.”  Students engaged with Gyasi as a Ghanaian American writer whose work is as interested in taking up established African American literary themes, such as trauma and the historical legacies of Atlantic slavery, as it is engaged with issues central to African Diasporic Literature, such as urban mobility and the difficulty African immigrants face navigating middle-class aspirations. Many insights from the class were shared with the broader Deep Read community throughout the program.