Nigerian Writer, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka to Speak at Penn

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | jposey@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-6460November 18, 2004

Nigerian Writer, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka to Speak at Penn

WHO:    Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

WHAT:  "Human Rights and Cultural Alibis" Talk

WHEN:   4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 29, 2004

WHERE:  Room 17, Logan Hall, on the University of Pennsylvania campus

Soyinka, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, has published more than 20 works including "The Man Died," novels, poetry and plays including "Death and the King's Horseman." He served as dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London; taught drama and literature at Yale, Oxford and Leeds and universities in Ibadan, Lagos and Ife; founded two theater groups; and produced and acted in his own plays.

Active in the movement for independence from British rule as a teenager, Soyinka challenged Nigeria's national government through both his art and political activities.  He was arrested in 1965, though acquitted after a brief detention, and arrested again extra-judicially in 1967 and imprisoned for more than two years, spending much of that time in solitary confinement.  

Soyinka is a professor emeritus at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; director of Literary Arts at the International Insitute of Modern Letters, University of Nevada; and a fellow at the DuBois Insitute at Harvard University.

The talk, to be introduced by Penn President Amy Gutmann, is free and open to the public.  The event is presented by Penn's Office of the Provost and African Studies Center with additional support from Penn's Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Center for Africana Studies and English Department.