Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka joins NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty of Arts

Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, has been appointed Professor of Theater Arts at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) effective September 1, 2022, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

A multi-faceted dramatist, poet, essayist, musician, philosopher, teacher, human rights activist, global artist and scholar, Soyinka joined the NYUAD theater program as a full-time faculty member, offering the community direct access to one of the world’s greatest thinkers.

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Soyinka’s appointment is aligned with NYUAD’s academic strategy and its mission as the University of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. It will play a key role in continuing to enhance the university’s position in the arts and its growth as a preeminent research and teaching university and a leader in global higher education. .

“It is a great honor to have Wole Soyinka, a world-renowned artist, scholar and activist, a true citizen of the world and a Nobel laureate, join our NYUAD community,” said NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann. . “Our location in Abu Dhabi, a transnational hub for the exchange of cultural and artistic traditions, uniquely positions NYUAD to catalyze new creativity and discourse. We are delighted to provide a home in the United Arab Emirates for the beauty and power of Soyinka’s contributions to our understanding of our histories and our humanity.

Soyinka has published over 90 books on culture and tradition, creativity and power, activism and the artistic process. His most recent book, published in 2021, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth”, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and has been described in the Los Angeles Times as a tour de force combining “Elements of a murder mystery, searing political satire and a modern Alice in Wonderland allegory of power and deceit.

Soyinka has held positions at other institutions of higher learning, including Harvard, Yale, Duke, Emory, and Loyola Marymount in the United States. He is also an active member of international, artistic and human rights organizations.

Soyinka became a member of the NYUAD community as Writer-in-Residence in 2020. His visit was then at a joint invitation from the African Studies, Film and New Media, History, Literature and Creative Writing and Acting, organized by the NYUAD Institute and supported by other offices across the university.

The NYUAD Theater Program is an academic and artistic laboratory dedicated to theater research, scholarship, and practice.

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