Call for Papers
Conference: Science Fiction across Media: Adaptation/Novelisation
May 28-30, 2009
K.U. Leuven, Belgium
Keynote speakers: Andrew Butler, Ian Hunter, Peter Verstraten, Peter Wright
This conference wants to bring together scholars from science fiction studies, adaptation studies and literary studies to share their expertise and shed new light on science-fiction adaptations and novelisations.
Besides film adaptation, there will be a special focus on the underdiscussed phenomenon of novelisation. Basically, novelisations are novels adapted from or based on a film, a TV series, a video game, or other media. In contrast to the more common adaptation process from book to film, novelisations are usually padded versions of screenplays. At least in its commercial or industrial form, a novelisation is released more or less concurrently with the film, as a marketing tool, in order to heighten visibility and awareness of the title. On the book market, however, the general public may easily confuse novelisations with novels adapted into films, as the latter are normally republished as tie-ins to film adaptations. As the study of novelisations and cinéromans has already progressed substantially in the French and Italian departments, this conference will be centred on English-language novelisations especially.
The conference also seeks to extend the adaptation debate on two terrains. First, genre is a dimension that has been fairly disregarded in adaptation studies. In particular, we shall investigate not only the relations between sf literature and sf cinema, but also how the focus on one genre contributes to our understanding of typical adaptation issues such as fidelity or the supremacy of the original text. Concerning science-fiction novelisations, it will be interesting to see how they relate and/or do not relate to sf literature and cinema. And while the success of novelisations and spin-off novels is considered partly responsible for the niche science-fiction literature has been pushed into, some of the most interesting novelisations in general belong to the science-fiction genre.
Second, we would also like to encourage analyses that approach adaptation from the narratological concept of space. Since narrative has traditionally been associated with temporality rather than spatiality, space has always lagged behind in narrative theory. As it can be connected with other narratological concepts as well as paratextual and cognitive aspects, it is perhaps ideally suited to balance different mediatic representations against each other.
We invite papers from different perspectives and disciplines to contribute to the discussion on science-fiction adaptation and novelisation. The conference will be held in English.
Please send proposals, including a 300-word abstract, a brief CV, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address, to:
The extended deadline for proposals is February 27, 2009.
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