Kazuo Ishiguro, special issue of American, British and Canadian Studies

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Alexandra Mitrea, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Guest Editors: Dr Sean Matthews, University of Nottingham, sean.matthews@nottingham.ac.uk, and Dr Alexandra Mitrea, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, alexandra.mitrea@ulbsibiu.ro


Acclaimed as one of the finest contemporary British writers – while of Japanese background –, Kazuo Ishiguro has elicited, ever since his first novel, strong responses ranging from admiration to bafflement. A very elusive writer whose work invites a multiplicity of perspectives and interpretations, Ishiguro challenges the reader with his carefully controlled narratives which withhold more than they reveal. His skillful merging of memory, imagination and dream plunges the reader into a maze-like reality beneath which lies a “buried giant” – an unsettling secret which is gradually revealed by a narrator who may be highly unreliable. 


Furthermore, as a diasporic writer, he is preoccupied with the question of the Other, more precisely with the internal otherness or doubleness of the British subject itself, raising multifarious ethical, spiritual and psychological issues. As a “homeless writer” addressing an international readership, he has reflected on highly topical themes such as cultural difference in Britain as well as the crisis of subjectivity, dwelling on the connection between the personal and the political.


Ishiguro is, moreover, one of those rare writers who reinvent themselves stylistically with each new novel or collection of stories. His ventriloquism and attention to cultural identity are doubled by an eye for quirks of character and experiences which stretch the limits of the probable. His novels are replete with double takes, déjà vus, Freudian slips, dislocations and misperformances of every description. Inhabiting a space at the intersection of realism, fabulism, surrealism and expressionism, they invite the reader to put away the accustomed reading instruments, such as generic categories and structural conventions, and accept a more immersive reading experience.


In the wake of his being awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for “novels of great emotional force” that “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world,” American, British and Canadian Studies finds it timely to reconsider his ouvre, in the hope of contributing significantly to current critical thinking on his work. To this end, we invite original critical articles which address these concerns from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary angles.


Key themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • Home, nationhood, ethnicity
  • Migratory identities, cultural hybridity, diasporic subjectivities
  • British national literary identity
  • Ethics, contemporary human rights, cloning and trauma
  • The crisis of artistic representation and creativity
  • Experiments with form and style


Articles will be subject to a blind peer reviewing process and must not be under consideration for any other publications. Please refer to the author submission guidelines on the American, British and Canadian Studies websites, http://abcjournal.ulbsibiu.ro and https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/abcsj#. Complete manuscripts, of up to a maximum of 7500 words including bibliography, are requested by June 15th, 2018 for publication in December 2018. Please include a biographical note of up to 200 words, accompanied by an abstract (200 words) and a list of 10 key words/concept. Enquiries and submissions are to be directed to Dr. Alexandra Mitrea, Faculty of Letters and Arts, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, alexandra.mitrea@ulbsibiu.ro. and copied to abc.journal@ulbsibiu.ro. Authors will be notified within six weeks of the closing date.