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Wole SoyinkaNobel Prize winner Soyinka to lecture

Nigerian writer and democracy activist Wole Soyinka, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize in literature, will present three Page-Barbour lectures on the theme of African expression and censorship. The lectures, at 4 p.m. in Minor Hall Auditorium on Sept. 21, 22, and 23, are open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby. (A schedule of individual lectures is below.)

Acclaimed as perhaps Africa's finest writer, Soyinka -- who has written plays, novels, essays and poems -- has published more than 40 works which chronicle Africa's political turmoil, while blending indigenous Yoruban and European traditions.

In 1967, during Nigeria's civil war, Soyinka was imprisoned for more than two years for his protests against the governmentıs brutal policies and actions. Deprived of books to read and materials with which to write, Soyinka made his own ink to keep a diary which he wrote on scraps of cigarette wrappers, toilet paper and between the lines of books he was able to secretly obtain.

His prison notes, The Man Died, were published in 1972. Other well-known works include The Lion and the Jewel, Madmen and Specialists, A Shuttle in the Crypt, Season of Anomy, Death and the King's Horseman, and his autobiography, Ake: The Years of Childhood, in which he recounts the first 10 years of his life in the context of his country and its history.

Soyinka, who is currently the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of the Arts at Emory University, has taught at Yale, Cornell, Cambridge and Harvard.

The Page-Barbour Lectures, established in 1907, have brought to U.Va. such figures as poets T.S. Eliot and W.H Auden, historian of science and technology Thomas P. Hughes, art historian Barbara Stafford, political scientist Lisa Anderson, journalist Walter Lippman and philosopher John Dewey. See

The Page-Barbour Lectures

Wole Soyinka

"The Muse at War: African Expression and the Siege of Censors"

  • Tues., Sept. 21 "Phony Wars: The Windmills of Canon"
  • Wed., Sept. 22 "The Colonial Burden and the New Imperators"
  • Thurs., Sept. 23 "Voices of Memory and the Terminal Censor"

All lectures are at 4 p.m. in Minor Hall Auditorium with a reception following in the lobby.


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