Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright and poet. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be so honored.
BOKO HARAM is indeed a “homegrown” religious affliction – insofar as any social eruption, anywhere in today’s world, can be considered an insular development. Nor is Boko Haram a purely religious phenomenon. What has become familiar as a toxic brew of religious and politics in pursuit of power for its own sake has catapulted the Nigerian instance into a solution defying menace that threatens the fabric not just of Nigeria, but of both surrounding and distanced African nations. Many like to subsume its beginnings and expansion under social alienation, economic deprivation, governmental corruption. As always, there is some truth in that. The Nigerian instance was however largely born of impunity, the art of – literally – “getting away with murder”.
This Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the Cogut Center for Humanities, the Department of Africana Studies, the Department of Anthroplogy, the Department of English, Glenn Loury (Economics), Modern Culture and Media, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of Global Engagement, the Office of the President, and the Watson Institute for International Studies.