CFP: Expanding Adaptations (June 10-11 2011, Lorient, France)
Université de Bretagne Sud (Lorient, France), June 10th-11th, 2011
Like the work of Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan before her, Linda Hutcheon's A Theory of Adaptation insists on the polysemic nature of the term "adaptation": rather than limiting the field to the novel/film debate, adaptation studies concerns the transposition of a story from one medium into another, be it novel and film, radio to novel and film (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), painting to novel (The Girl with the Pearl Earring), etc. In following with this wider acceptation, we would like to examine the idea of "expanding adaptations" in our third edition of From the Blank Page to the Silver Screen. Whether it be the increasing importance of adaptation studies in academic circles, or the idea that the visual medium allows filmmakers to "fill in the gaps" necessarily present in any literary description, we would like to focus on what adaptation adds to the original, rather than what is "left behind".
Possible subjects of study might include:
• The widening acceptation of the term "adaptation", the changing perception of adaptation theory from a "reductionist" phenomenon
• The popularity of short fiction as source texts for feature-length film adaptations (Brokeback Mountain, the short stories of Phillip K. Dick, Blow-Up, All About Eve), allowing directors and screenwriters more leeway to leave their own imprint on the story
• The study of adaptations of theatrical forms (plays, musicals) that by virtue of the possibilities of film, "open up" the original play (famously Laurence Olivier's Henry V, more recently Closer, The Shape of Things, Shakespeare adaptations)
• Adaptations that expand on underlying themes, whether they be ideological (postcolonialism in Mansfield Park or Vanity Fair), or aesthetic (for example in the use of Robert Browning's The Pied Piper of Hamelin in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter), or simply transpose the source story into a new context (India in Bride and Prejudice or Omkara, Vietnam in Apocalypse Now, contemporary America in innumerable teen adaptations of the classics)