Adaptation – Film, TV, Literature, & Electronic Gaming

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Call for PCA 2017 (San Diego, CA, 4/11-16)

Beyond Monogamy: Opening out Adaptation Studies

Call for PCA 2017!


For a host of reasons, the basic structure of an adaptation study has been, historically, a one-to-one comparison of source and adaptation. And for a host of reasons, this has proven (potentially) problematic. Not that the one-to-one study, or singleton, can’t be well done, productive, and downright brilliant. Clearly, it can. But as adaptation studies moves toward conceiving and theorizing adaptation according to postmodern concepts of intertextuality, the singleton becomes less dependable and productive in developing forward-moving directions, strategies, and theories for the field.

This year, we invite papers that move away from the singleton to address and engage with multiplicity in adaptation. Traditional approaches structure adaptation as a monogamous relationship between source and adaptation—such studies explore the state of the union of a source/copy relationship. But with the injection of concepts of intertextuality into adaptation studies, the productive recognition of Tom Leitch’s Tenth Fallacy, “Adaptations are adapting exactly one text apiece,” are becoming more manifest. Many adaptations work in (ever-growing) cycles as much as they work individually. Frankenstein and Sherlock Holmes spring to mind as classic literature/film/tv cycles in which a new set of adaptive concerns are emerging, concerns that allow us to consider and account for the work of radical intertextuality, fan discourse, and fan fiction in these classic examples, and also in contemporary texts such as Twilight, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards. What happens when we begin to theorize the act of adaptation as less an act of translation, transcription, or generic transfer and more of a palimpsestuous act where promiscuity is both inevitable and desirable, not to mention artistically and critically productive?

As always, we consider “adaptation” as much a reading strategy as a way of constructing texts, or as much a way of looking at texts as a particular brand of texts. Thus, we welcome papers on any and all aspects of what you read and conceive of as adaptation.

Contact Glenn Jellenik ([email protected]) with questions.