University Welcomes Former Political Prisoner for Constitution Day

Published: September 11, 2015 | Read Time: 1 minutes

At age 16 Chris Abani was imprisoned and tortured by the Nigerian government. His crime? Publishing a novel about a fictional coup that accidentally coincided with an actual attempt to overthrow the regime. It would be the first of three such instances.  

Abani’s compelling backstory of political censure at its worst would later fuel his award-winning literature and inspiring TED talks that convey stories of people who challenge injustice and limitations of identity. And to convey that same passion, SUU has invited Abani to headline its 2015 opening convocation, taking place on Constitution Day, Thursday, September 17.

Abani, now a professor of English at Northwestern University, will present along with Anthony Peacock, constitutional scholar and head of the political science department at Utah State University.   

“We are delighted to host Abani and Peacock on campus for our Constitution Day Convocation,” said Danielle Dubrasky, director of convocations and associate professor of creative writing at SUU. “Their unique perspectives will help attendees to consider both a historical and personal view of the Constitution.” 

Dr. Abani’s presentation, “Civic Engagement through the Arts and Humanitarianism,” will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall within the R. Haze Hunter Conference Center, followed by Dr. Peacock’s presentation, “The Constitution and the Challenge to Free Enterprise in the 21st Century,” at 4 p.m. in the Sterling Church Auditorium, also located in SUU’s Sharwan Smith Student Center.

As with all SUU Convocations, both presentations are free and open to the campus and general public.

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