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Wole Soyinka, Winner Of The 1986 Nobel Prize In Literature, To Give A Series Of Lectures At U.Va.

Sept. 2, 1999 -- Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist, essayist and democracy activist Wole Soyinka will visit the University of Virginia in September. During his stay, 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, with a reception following in the lobby, are open to the public. (A schedule of individual lectures is below.)

Acclaimed as perhaps Africa’s finest writer, Soyinka has published more than 40 works in which he chronicles political turmoil while blending indigenous Yoruban and European traditions.

During Nigeria’s civil war, Soyinka was arrested in 1967 and imprisoned for more than two years for his protests against the government’s 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 and toilet paper as well as 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, "Akè: The Years of Childhood," in which he recounts the first ten 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 notable 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.

For more information contact Teju Olaniyan, associate professor of English at (804) 924-7105 or to4x@virginia.edu.

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.

Contact: Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Thursday, 02-Sep-1999 12:07:49 EDT
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