Soyinka joins NYU to teach acting


Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is joining the faculty of New York University, Abu Dhabi as a Professor of Theater Arts.

NYUAD is a portal campus of New York University. It began its academic program in 2010 and has since grown steadily. Soyinka’s appointment is part of the university’s strategy to build strength in the arts and reposition its leadership to stand out as a world-class educational institution.

It’s safe to say that NYU Abu Dhabi is incredibly lucky. Not all universities are fortunate enough to benefit directly and closely from the wealth of knowledge of one of the world’s brightest minds. Soyinka also joins an already impressive faculty that includes Ghanaian professor Kwame Anthony Appiah, also a friend of Soyinka.

It is a great honor to have Wole Soyinka, a world-renowned artist, scholar and activist, a true global citizen and Nobel laureate, join our NYUAD community. Our location in Abu Dhabi, a transnational hub for the exchange of cultural and artistic traditions, uniquely positions NYUAD to catalyze new creativity and discourse. We are delighted to provide a home in the United Arab Emirates for the beauty and power of Soyinka’s contributions to our understanding of our histories and our humanity.

NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann celebrated the good news. Soyinka studied English Literature, Greek and Western History at the University College of Ibadan, then transferred to the University of Leeds where he graduated with a BA in English Literature in 1957. His extensive body of work includes three novels, numerous plays and works of poetry. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, becoming the first, and until recently, the only black African to do so. He has held university professorships and lectured at numerous institutions of higher education, including Harvard, Emory, Loyola Maryland, Mount, and Yale.

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