Call for papers for proposed book on teaching adaptation studies. Contributions invited from teachers and practitioners at all levels from a variety of disciplines, particularly literature and film studied.
Contributions can be of any length, although we would prefer a minimum of (8-10) A4 double-spaced pages. We would be interested in proposals (500 words maximum) outlining the scope and aims of a possible contribution.
Deadline 30th November 2007.
In recent years there has been a great deal of theoretical and practical material published on adaptation studies. Among the major works include Robert Stam’s Literature Through Film (2005) and Linda Hutcheon’s recent Theory of Adaptation (2006), or Linda Cahir’s Literature into Film (new edn. 2007), all of which try to move the discussion of adaptation away from issues of fidelity, and to interpret the idea of ‘adaptation’ as something more than simply transforming a literary or fictional text into a cinematic work.
However many of the questions about how adaptation studies might be taught in the classroom, at whatever level, remains unaddressed - even though adaptation studies are widely taught on a number of programs in different departments, both in the United States and elsewhere. There seems to be a need for a volume to address such issues, designed both for teachers and students - that would not only sum up the major theoretical and practical issues surrounding adaptation, but would also show these issues operating in practice. The volume might also provide a guide as to the breadth of work being done under the name of ‘adaptation studies’.
The potential market for this volume would include students and teachers of film studies, popular culture and literature at the university and/or high school levels.
Some of the issues that might be focused on could include:
what is ‘adaptation’ - exactly what is adapted and how. What decisions are made when a text is adapted and why? What is not an adaptation?
the social, cultural and economic forces that shape the act of adaptation - these may include the particular context in history, or the country in which the text is adapted; the vastness of adaptation; transcultural adaptations; indigenization; trans-media adaptations (I.e. adaptation from one medium to another), and the economic concerns that both lead to and limit the scope of adaptation;
the scope of adaptation studies, which can encompass films and TV programs adapted from other media as well as books - computer games, video games. Are different criteria applied when different media are involved? And does this depend on context?
responding to adaptations - what are the pleasures involved in watching an adaptation; ‘knowing’ and ‘unknowing’ audiences; types of engagement with an adaptation; degrees of immersion and detachment while watching an adaptation (does one actually become engaged with the story or simply evaluate what has been done to the ‘original’ text - whatever kind of text that might be).
the pleasures of adaptation - why do adaptations become more popular at one point in history as opposed to others. Examples might include the early days of Hollywood, when playwrights, poets and dramatists were signed by the fledgling studios in order to invest the silent film industry with a degree of ‘respectability’. Or one might look at the modern era, with the profusion of goods available that have been ‘adapted from’ the original movie in order to promote it, or vice versa (e.g. the Lara Croft franchise).
the relationship between adaptation studies and creative writing (picking up on point 1) to what extent is an adaptation a creative piece of work to be judged on its own merits, or does it have to be always compared with the ‘original’ text?
Individual contributions are invited, covering one or more of these topics. As this book is designed as a textbook, the preferred focus might be on how these issues have been dealt with in the classroom. Accounts of particular teaching techniques and/or methods would be welcome, as would any contributions that engage with theoretical issues concerning adaptation, and how they might be discussed in the classroom. The focus should be as wide as possible, and not simply restricted to film/literary texts, giving some idea of the range of material covered in adaptation studies
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