Wole Soyinka, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, will participate in a series of events at NYU during the month of October.
Wole Soyinka, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, will participate in a series of events at NYU during the month of October. Soyinka, who has published more than 30 works and remains active in international artistic and Human Rights organizations, will discuss Africa and the role of public intellectuals (Oct. 3) and participate in discussions on the film “Negritude” (Oct. 4) and on the issue of identity and creativity (Oct. 7).
Soyinka is the Fall 2016 scholar-in-residence at NYU’s Institute of African American Affairs.
All events, sponsored by NYU’s Institute of African American Affairs and co-sponsored by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, are free and open to the public; they will be held at NYU’s School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall, Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Sq. South (between Sullivan and MacDougal Sts.). Please RSVP for all events at 212.998.IAAA (4222). Subways: A, B, C, D, E, F, M (W. 4th St.); 1 (Christopher St.).
Mon., Oct. 3, 6 p.m.
Wole Soyinka Main Lecture: “Negritude By Any Other Name”
Wole Soyinka will reflect on the themes of the world in Africa and Africa in the world, which include the voices of African public intellectuals, at home and abroad, in assessing such issues as human rights, terrorism, and religious absolutism. Overall, he will consider the roles of public intellectuals in proposing creative and positive approaches to these problems.
Soyinka will be introduced by Awam Amkpa, a professor of drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Tues., Oct. 4, 6:30 p.m.
Film screening: “Negritude: A Dialogue Between Wole Soyinka and Senghor”
Directed by Manthia Diawara
(52 mins., France/USA/Germany/Portugal, 2015)
This film centers on an imagined dialogue between Léopold Sédar Senghor, one of the founding fathers of Negritude, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, who probe the relevance of the concept of “Negritude” with the aim of creating an understanding of the contemporary artistic and political scenes of nationalism, religious intolerance, multiculturalism, the exodus of Africans and other populations from the South, and immigration policies in the West.
After the film, Soyinka, director Manthia Diawara, and NYU history Professor Frederick Cooper will engage in a brief discussion and question-and-answer session.
Fri., Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m.
Wole Soyinka In Conversation with Taiye Selasi
Wole Soyinka and author/photographer Taiye Selasi, who penned the novel Ghana Must Go, discuss identity and creativity at home and abroad, and consider the following: To what extent were the intellectuals of previous generations subjected to the “cult of authenticity” that contemporary diasporic artists now face? Does gender play any role? Where does the African artist fit into the broader African and African diasporic contexts today?
Soyinka writes in various genres – from the light comedy of cultures in The Lion and the Jewel, the JERO Plays etc., through King Baabu, a satiric adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, to the dense poetic tragedy of Death and the King’s Horseman.
He has also written novels and autobiographical works, including AKE: The Years of Childhood and You Must Set Forth at Dawn, which was heralded one of the best non-fiction works of 2006. Literary and thematic essay collections include his 2004 BBC Reith Lectures, Climate of Fear, and OF AFRICA (2013) while his last collection of poems appeared as SAMARKAND and Other Markets I Have Known. Soyinka is currently a professor emeritus in comparative literature at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, a fellow of the Black Mountain Institute, University of Nevada, and a Hutchins Fellow at Harvard University.
The Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA) at New York University was founded in 1969 to research, document, and celebrate the cultural and intellectual production of Africa and its diaspora in the Atlantic world and beyond. IAAA is committed to the study of Blacks in modernity through concentrations in Pan-Africanism and Black Urban Studies.
ABOUT THE NYU-IAAA ARTIST/SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM
The Artist/Scholar-in-Residence Program was initiated by the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University in 1996, with writer Walter Mosley as the first guest. It has since become one of the most respected and well attended programs at New York University. The audience is particularly attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of the programs. A writer, for example will invite musicians to play music and discuss his/her writing. An actor could organize a panel around politics, etc. Past Artists/Scholars-in-Residence include: Angela Davis, Anna Devere Smith, Randy Weston, Salif Keita, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Danny Glover, William Greaves, Edouard Glissant, John Akomfrah and Meklit Hadero, and most recently Linton Kwesi Johnson.