Abdulrazak Gurnah was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for "his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents."
In 2012, Gurnah was the keynote speaker of the 20th METU British Novelists Conference, which was held to discuss and present studies on Salman Rushdie's works. This conference series have been organized by Foreign Language Education Department in Middle East Technical University since 1993:
There are two theses on Gurnah's works published in our department's English literature program on master's and Ph.D. levels:
- A Postcolonial Narratological Study of Silence in Abdulrazak Gurnah's Admiring Silence and By the Sea. (2014). Özlem Aslan. (MA) (Thesis Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elif Öztabak-Avcı)
- Hospitality, Multiculturalism and Narrative Agency in Abdulrazak Gurnah's By the Sea, The Last Gift and Gravel Heart. (2021). Laya Soleymanzadeh. (Ph.D.) (Thesis Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Margaret J.M. Sönmez).
METU British Novelists International Conference, 26th of which will be held in December 2022, is unique in its being the only and oldest conference on British novelists organized in Turkey. Two other British novelists whose works had been studied and introduced in our conference series were awarded Nobel Prize in literature as well:
1996 / 4th British Novelists Conference: "Doris Lessing and Her Work" (2007 Nobel Prize in Literature)
2011 / 19th METU British Novelists Conference: "Kazuo Ishiguro and His Work" (2017 Nobel Prize in Literature)
With this good news, we would like to share our department's pride and happiness for hosting METU British Novelists International Conference, which provides an academic platform to discuss the works of renowned British novelists, for almost 30 years with great devotion and hard work.