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Conference and masterclasses put Wolverhampton on the literary map


An international conference held at the University of Wolverhampton recently which focused on the works of Nobel Prize-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro was a resounding success and has led to a further event being scheduled.

The next lecture, Masterclass: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, will be held on Thursday 30th July between 12.00 midday and 2.30 pm and is open to A Level English and English Literature students and teachers, scholars, academics and members of the public.

Led by Kazuo Ishiguro scholar Sebastian Groes, the masterclass will cover Ishiguro’s use of intertextuality, language and irony, metaphors, and genre. During the workshop, participants will debate ethical and political questions, and the role of emotions and memory in Ishiguro’s novel.

The first Twenty-First Century Perspectives on Kazuo Ishiguro conference took place in the Chancellor’s Hall at the University’s City Campus in Wolverhampton.

More than 50 delegates from Japan, the USA, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Hungary attended the event, organised by the University’s Centre for Transnational and Transcultural Research (CTTR).

Ishiguro is known for his novel, Never Let Me Go, and his Booker Prize winning novel The Remains of the Day. The Anglo-Japanese writer has been a distinct literary voice since his 1982 debut A Pale View of Hills.

The initial conference took place during the Wolverhampton Literature Festival after receiving almost £5,000 funding from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and the Japan Foundation to fund a group of seven Japanese scholars to contribute to the event as well as a contribution from the British Association of Contemporary Literature Studies.

The University of Wolverhampton collaborated with the University of Bamberg (Germany), the City University of New York (USA), the Lucian Blaga University (Romania) and the University of Nottingham and Lincoln. 

Professor Sebastian Groes, who has written two books on Ishiguro’s work and is a lecturer in English Literature in the School of Humanities, said: “We organised two public engagement events for this year’s Wolverhampton Literature Festival.

“The first one saw seven Japanese scholars give perspectives on the influence of Japan on Ishiguro’s work and two English Literature PhD students, Olivia White and Lily Wordsall and I also did another Masterclass on Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go. Both events have really put Wolverhampton on the international map.”

Professor Bob Eaglestone, British literary critic and theorist at Royal Holloway, University of London, said: “The conference really was exceptional.  The level of scholarship was extraordinarily high aided by funding from Daiwa which allowed several Japanese scholars to attend.

“I thought having these scholars give brief talks at the literary festival, too, was an inspired idea: that was a fascinating and thoughtful public engagement session.

“The keynote speaker is one of the world’s leading experts in Ishiguro, and it was wonderful to meet her and hear her speak. The UK and other international delegates were, again, of the highest quality. And it was lovely to have a note welcoming us from the Nobel Laureate himself!  The whole event was extremely well-organised and planned. I also found the city of Wolverhampton welcoming and rather impressive.”

Anyone interested in attending the virtual masterclass should book through Eventbrite.

Anyone applying for a course through Clearing can register their interest and arrange a phone call with the University on results day on Thursday 13th August or visit our next virtual Open Day on Saturday 15th August for more information. Alternatively call us on the Clearing Hotline on 01902 518585 or contact us through our Social Media channels:

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