SEATING LIMITED (Off the record, no live webcast)
A member of the unique generation of African writers and intellectuals who came of age in the last days of colonialism, Nigerian poet and playwright Wole Soyinka witnessed firsthand the promise of independence and postcolonial failure.
Compelled to speak out against his country's military dictatorships and other tyrannies across the continent, Soyinka suffered persecution and in the 1990s, was forced to flee to the United States. But through it all, he never lost sense of Africa's truest asset: "its humanity, the quality and valuation of its own existence, and modes of managing its environment—both physical and intangible (which includes the spiritual)."
Still, there are many challenging questions left to be answered: What does the past mean in Africa? How real is the threat of theocracy? How viable are nations whose borders were laid out by outsiders? And what does African identity mean, both to those still on the continent and to members of the diaspora?
Soyinka was the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. He is currently Professor in Residence at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and he has also been a professor at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Cornell University, Emory University, and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Soyinka has written plays, produced both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom; several essay and poetry collections; novels; memoirs; and screenplays.
Speaker: Wole Soyinka
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
170 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10065-7478
(212) 752-2432 - Fax
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Continental breakfast served at 8:00 AM. Presentations begin at 8:15 AM, followed by a question-and-answer session from 8:45 to 9:15 AM.
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