ENGLISH 398 - Junior Seminar in English Studies
Fall 2022, Section 002 - The Case of Ishiguro; Or, Write What You Know while Learning with Writing
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


Confidence in one’s ideas about a complex work of literature is so hard to come by in a usual semester-long course, and sure, confidence comes with writing, but wouldn’t it be nice to work from a strong base of knowledge about your subject? This class is designed to give you expertise in one great writer’s fictional works, that of Kazuo Ishiguro, a writer who happened to win a Nobel Prize a few years ago and whose novels amply reward careful study – complexly written and thoughtful, they don’t work for beach reading, at least until after you’ve taken this course. We will read most of his novels, from the early works of the 1980s to his most recent, published just last year. While the subjects of his novels vary – boarding school teens, butlers, Arthurian knights, concert pianists, artists, and detectives – they all explore the instability of human memory, the responsibilities that come with kinship, and the grave inhumanity of our world. The novels, I hope you’ll agree, additionally offer optimism about artful storytelling and more than a few laughs. As part of our knowledge base, we will also study the figure created by marketing specialists, journalists, literary critics, and of course the writer himself, that is Ishiguro as “the author,” global literary celebrity, British, Anglo-Japanese, and modern-occasionally-post-modern, post-colonial-or-perhaps-neo-liberal writer, and we will ask how that figure matters in our reading of these texts. We will read about six of his novels (likely voting on the later texts), write weekly short writing assignments on a class webpage, and build up over the semester a long essay built of many confident insights. Finally, we will regularly collaborate in small and large group workshops on drafts and ideas.

Required Texts:

  • An Artist of the Floating World
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Remains of the Day
  • Klara and the Sun
  • TBD: The Unconsoled; or 2 of the following as decided by group The Buried Giant, A Pale View of the Hills, When We Were Orphans


ENGLISH 398 - Junior Seminar in English Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

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