Re-working, Re-imagining, Re-inventing: The Changing Faces of Adaptation Studies

deadline for submissions: 
September 20, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
St Andrew's College, Mumbai, India

Adaptation studies was originally established with the intent to study  the manner in which cinematic texts altered their literary sources.  However, this concept has since expanded to engage with broader ideas of  how adaptation functions and the manner in which it has come to  interface with not only specific genres of literature, film, theatre,  media, and the digital, but also the narratives that underlie these in a  broader social, political, and historical sense (Raw and Gurr, 2013).  In fact, it is now maintained that the field is broad enough to be  conceptualised as an active determining process that affects almost  every aspect of our lives as we engage with the world around us. As a  field of enquiry, adaptation studies has had a sustained interest in how  transcultural, intracultural, and postcolonial contexts have interfaced  with, interrogated, and sometimes destabilised their canonical ‘origin’  texts. In India, theatre and film productions have historically been  deeply involved in this dialogue by re-imagining literary narratives.  Famous examples include the multiple adaptations of Devdas (1917), including its most recent and disruptive modern retelling by Anurag Kashyap as Dev D (2009).

Indian directors have also taken up canonical Western texts to update  them to include local cultural issues such as caste, class, region,  religion, languages etc. Vishal Bharadwaj’s trilogy – Maqbool (2003), Omkara (2006), and Haider  (2014) – are perhaps the most notable recent examples of this trend. As  Poonam Trivedi notes, while Shakespeare may have been brought to India  as a colonial import within narratives of cultural hierarchies, such  productions of Shakespeare’s works have engaged with and adapted this  historicity to produce localised versions of these texts, indigenous and  postcolonial productions in a space of intercultural exchange. The  updating of these texts to allow for modernised retellings, or the  creation and contextualisation of spaces for those traditionally  under-represented in media, suggests that adaptation, far from simply  repetitive fidelity to a source text is also a space of transgression,  of ethics, and of new engagement. Adaptation has also expanded the scope  of scholarly engagement with different mediums including not just  literary narrative and film but also the digital realm including new  media, and transmedia adaptations have increasingly begun to take centre  stage with films leading to television series or vice versa,  merchandise ranging from novel or comic expansions, games for consoles  or mobiles, websites with additional in-world context and information,  amusement parks based around popular narratives, and more. 

Additionally,  consumption of such narratives is no longer viewed as simply passive  response, with audience participation in narratives increasingly coming  to the fore with hypertexts, game theory, fan productions, and social  media in the form of memes and clips. Within these re-imaginings, these  narratives shift between conceptions of high and low art, the universal  and the specific—an example being the growing market for revisions of  Indian mythologies as fantasy or young adult novels, as well as big and  small screen adaptations of the same. These shifts of power, location,  and context urge re-evaluations and discussion. Finally, adaptation  studies has also made an impact on teaching practices in undergraduate  and postgraduate classrooms as teachers increasingly bring new media  into their course structures, requiring an engagement with the manner in  which these texts are now navigated, working from source text to images  on screen, and the approaches we use to examine these effects. It is in  within these very broadly defined areas that we invite engagement with  literature and media on a wide range of issues encompassed by adaptation  studies.

 Topics which may be explored could include, but are not limited to:

 · Ethics: Fidelity and Betrayal of Source Text

  ·Linguistic Adaptations and Translation Theory 

 ·Fan Productions as Consumer Adaptations 

· Adaptation Studies and Pedagogy 

· Adaptation in the Age of Transmedia 

· Social Networking and Adaptation Memes 

· Myth, Mythology, and their Adaptations 

· Race, Gender, Caste, and Class in Adaptations 

· Colonial and Post-Colonial Remixes 

· Adaptations and Controversy 

· Exporting Culture/ Importing Culture  


More information can be found on the conference website:

Important Dates

Conference Dates: 17-18 November 2017

Submission of Abstracts: by 20 September 2017 

Intimation of Acceptance: by 30 September 2017 

Payment of Registration Fee: by 10 October 2017 

Full Paper Submission: by 30 October 2017

Submission of Abstract

· Length: 200 words 

· Language: English

· File type: Microsoft Word 

· Font: Times New Roman, size 12 pts, spacing 1.5.  

· Biodata: 50 words

The abstract must contain four-five keywords, and must be emailed as an attached word document to


Selected  papers will be published in our departmental journal, Ruminations (ISSN 2249-9059).

Submission of Full Paper

All paper submissions must observe the following guidelines: 

· Language: Papers must be written in English ONLY 

· File type: Microsoft Word 

a. Length: 3000 - 4000 words  

b. Title of Paper 

c. Author(s) and affiliation(s) 

d. Abstract (with four - five keywords)  


Full papers must be submitted in Times New Roman, size 12 pts, double-spaced. 

Title: Typed in UPPER CASE letters, bold and left aligned. 

Author(s) names: Typed in UPPER CASE letters 

Author(s) affiliation(s): Typed in lower case letters. 

If papers have more than one author, the first author will be considered as the contact person for all related correspondence.

Referencing Style

All papers must be referenced according to the format of the MLA, 7th edition.

Full papers must be submitted before the conference date.