All eyes are on Prof. Wole Soyinka for a new job

May 14 , 2015 Prof. Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate from Nigeria is ahead of other top poetry experts such as Simon Armitage, Ian Gregson and two others for the post of the professor of poetry at Oxford University.

The job, described by a popular British journal as a prestigious position, was first established in the early 18th century and has boasted such great literary minds as Robert Graves and WH Auden.

The five-year role is voted for by Oxford graduates and is regarded as the UK’s second most important poetry position, after the position of a poet laureate.

Professor Soyinka was nominated by over 90 students, putting him in the lead as a preferred choice, interestingly, the professor has not made a statement on the contest.

A statement from The Guardian UK says “The Nigerian Nobel laureate, whose supporters include Melvyn Bragg and Robert Macfarlane, has yet to provide a statement about his plans for the professorship.

Even though most of his fame comes from his dramas, Professor Wole Soyinka is a respected poet. He is credited for such outstanding poetry collections as Idanre and other Poems as well as Samarkand and other Markets I have Known. Two of his most popular poems, “Abiku” and “Telephone Conversation”, have been studied in schools for decades.

In South Africa, The University of Johannesburg is to launch what it believes will be one of the world’s most unique institutes for advanced study.

TimesLive SA shares this interesting tidbit, and tells us that the institute will be created via a partnership with Nanyang Technological University (NTU)‚ Singapore. The institute, to be named the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), will be the first fully-fledged institute of advanced study in South Africa’s political and economic heartland‚ according to a statement from the university.

The statement adds that the Institute‚ will be launched under the theme “The Next Twenty-Five Years”. It is expected to bring together the “foremost researchers; intellectual leaders and key experts‚ both from Asia and Africa‚ to develop and find innovative and workable solutions to unite African and Asian thought and research”.

Professor Peter Vale, director of the new institute is quoted as saying “Excellence and stature have led to much more substantial conversation about the desired future for UJ‚ and the establishment of the JIAS not only highlights the university’s drive to become an international university with the vision to become the Pan-African epicentre of critical and intellectual inquiry‚ but also presents a unique opportunity for serious conversation on the way we understand the world and how we relate to it‚”

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