Barnard College Scholar Co-Authors the Libretto for a New Opera

christianseYvette Christianse, a professor of English and Africana studies at Barnard College in New York City, is the co-author of the libretto for the opera Cities of Salt that debuted recently at the Royal Opera House in London.

Cities of Salt is based on the 1984 novel of the same name by the Jordanian novelist Abdelrahman Munif. The story is set in the 1930s and involves a small Bedouin community near an oasis on the Arabian peninsula. When oil is discovered nearby the area is taken over by oil interests.

Yvette Christianse is a native of South Africa. She is the author of two books of poetry including Castaway (Duke University Press, 1999). She has also authored the novel Unconfessed (Other Press, 2006) and the book Toni Morrison: An Ethical Poetics (Fordham University Press, 2012).

Dr. Christianse holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Sydney in Australia. She joined the faculty at Barnard College in 2010.

Dr. Christianse’s co-author is Rosalind Morris, a professor of anthropology at Columbia University.


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