Kazuo Ishiguro Panel
The proposed panel will reappraise the work of Sir Kazuo Ishiguro following his recent knighthood and Nobel Prize win in 2017. Ishiguro is not simply a British author, but a complex cultural figure capable of creating global fictions which are as broad in their geographical and thematic scope as their stylistic diversity. As one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed British authors writing today, Ishiguro’s work attempts to move beyond modernist and postmodernist paradigms and has proven to be exceptionally prescient: The Remains of the Day and The Buried Giant speak to the class divides, political ruptures and imperial nostalgia surrounding Brexit, while Never Let Me Go anticipates recent developments in biotechnology and gender and identity politics.
The panel members will attempt to situate Ishiguro’s work within current debates regarding modernism, postmodernism and postcolonialism, and examine how his fiction is central to major thematic concerns of the contemporary novel including national identity, Britishness, cosmopolitanism, memory, biotechnology, terrorism, art practice, trauma, Brexit, immigration and populist politics. Discussing Ishiguro both as a British and global author, the panel will engage with current debates regarding the politics of publishing of ethnic writers, examining how Ishiguro has managed to shape a career in resistance of narrow labelling where many other writers have struggled to achieve long-term recognition.
Sebastian Groes, Professor in English Literature, University of Wolverhampton
Kristian Shaw, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Lincoln
Peter Sloane, Lecturer in English Literature, University of Lincoln
Sara Upstone, Professor in Contemporary Literature, Kingston University