Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka joins NYU Abu Dhabi faculty

 Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka joins NYU Abu Dhabi faculty

Wole Soyinka, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, has been appointed Arts Professor of Theater at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) effective 1st September, 2022.

A multifaceted artist-dramatist, poet, essayist, musician, philosopher, teacher, human rights activist, and global artist and scholar, Soyinka joined the NYUAD Theatre Programme as a full-time faculty member, thereby offering the community direct access to one of the world’s greatest thinkers.

Soyinka’s appointment is aligned with NYUAD’s Academic Strategy and its mission as a university in and of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. He will play a key role in continuing to enhance the university’s standing within the arts and its growth as a preeminent research and teaching university and leader in global higher education.

“It is a great honour to have Wole Soyinka, a world-renowned artist, academic, and activist, a true citizen of the world, and a Nobel laureate join our NYUAD community,” said NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann. “Our location in Abu Dhabi, a transnational crossroads for the exchange of cultural and artistic traditions, positions NYUAD uniquely to catalyse new creativity and discourse. We are excited to provide a home in the UAE for the beauty and power of Soyinka’s contributions to our understanding of our histories and our humanity.”

Soyinka has published over 90 works on culture and tradition, creativity and power, activism, and the artistic process. His most recent book, published in 2021, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth,” is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and has been described in the Los Angeles Times as a tour de force combining “elements of a murder mystery, a searing political satire and an Alice in Wonderland-like modern allegory of power and deceit.”

Soyinka has held positions at other higher education institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Duke, Emory, and Loyola Marymount in the United States. He is also an active member of international, artistic, and human rights organisations.

Soyinka first became a part of the NYUAD community as a Writer-in-Residence in 2020. His visit then was through a joint invitation from the African Studies, Film and New Media, History, Literature and Creative Writing, and Theater programs, hosted by the NYUAD Institute and supported by other offices across the university.

The NYUAD Theater Programme is an academic and artistic laboratory dedicated to theater research, scholarship, and practice.