ENGLISH 398 - Junior Seminar in English Studies
Section: 002 Clones, Detectives, Artists, and a Shiny Nobel Prize (The Case of Ishiguro)
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

We will write and rewrite exploratory close readings as well as argumentative essays based in close reading; we will write and rewrite essays based in aesthetic judgment (i.e. “reviews”) as well as essays based in popular, historical, and theoretical conceptions of authorship. Our literary focus in this seminar is a living writer who happened to just receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro. Even though we will focus on a single author, the variety of topics and “unreliable” styles of his novels will keep you on your toes – pianists in Eastern Europe, artists in mid-twentieth century Japan, detectives in nineteenth-century Shanghai, clones in the future, butlers on a road trip and villagers encountering a dragon -- novels that make easy ironic readings both perfectly correct and wholly (perhaps!) mistaken. Along with a selection of novels, we will watch the film adaptation of Never Let Me Go, taking up considerations of medium and meaning. Finally, we will learn about the figure created by publishers, journalists, literary critics, and of course the writer himself, that is Ishiguro as “the author,” as literary celebrity, British, Japanese, and post-colonial writer, and ask how that figure matters in our reading of these texts.

Course Requirements:

1 film review; 2 close readings; 1 comparative essay; 1 critical summary; 1 research-based final essay.

Intended Audience:

Students who enjoy reading and thinking about modern literature, and who are curious about global literary celebrity, professional literary scholarship, or the writings of Ishiguro.

Class Format:

Discussion and writing workshops

ENGLISH 398 - Junior Seminar in English Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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