Sara Shafiei

The Source of Self‑Regard

Associate Professor Sara Shafiei shares recordings and writings of Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature recipient.

The Source of Self‑Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches and Mediations by Toni Morrison

Excerpt from Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Lecture:

“The conventional wisdom of the Tower of Babel story is that the collapse was a misfortune. That it was the distraction or the weight of many languages that precipitated the tower’s failed architecture. That one monolithic language would have expedited the building, and heaven would have been reached. Whose heaven, she wonders? And what kind? Perhaps the achievement of Paradise was premature, a little hasty if no one could take the time to understand other languages, other views, other narratives. Had they, the heaven they imagined might have been found at their feet. Complicated, demanding, yes, but a view of heaven as life, not heaven as post-life.”

Listen to her full lecture here

Toni Morrison’s influence extends beyond her written words. Her groundbreaking novels about black history and identity opened the door for generations of authors and helped advance issues of civil rights and racial justice. For short essays, writings, and speeches by Morrison you may wish to read The Source of Self-Regard.


Name Sara Shafiei (she/her)
Role Staff
Department Faculty of the Built Environment


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