Wole Soyinka

Arts Professor of Theater Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA English Literature, Leeds University; Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of Cambridge

Research Areas: Comparative Theatre Formation Across Cultures

Wole Soyinka is a towering figure in world literature and a multifaceted artist-dramatist, poet, essayist, musician, philosopher, academic, teacher, human rights activist, global artist, and scholar. He has won international acclaim for his verse, as well as for novels such as Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth. His works encompass drama, poetry, novels, music, film, and memoirs; he is considered among the great contemporary writers.

Soyinka is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems, two novels, books of essays, and memoirs, including The Burden of Memory, The Muse of Forgiveness, and numerous plays.

Soyinka has held positions at other higher education institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Duke, Emory, and Loyola Marymount in the US, as well as highly regarded institutions throughout Africa and Europe. He is also an active member of international, artistic, and human rights organizations.

Soyinka's class, “Culture and Citizenship,” will explore issues of citizenship and culture and how works of art can be said to be pertinent to a country or culture and contribute to the work of shaping national or cultural identities. The seminar will draw on diverse genres of literature from a range of times and places — from ancient Greece to the Harlem Renaissance to contemporary Turkey and eighteenth-century England.


Courses Taught