[Deadline extended] Routledge Companion to Global Literary Adaptations in the 21st Century

deadline for submissions: 
April 5, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Liz Ho & Brandon Chua: University of Hong Kong
contact email: 

Routledge Companion to Global Literary Adaptation in the Twenty-First Century



We are soliciting book chapter submissions for the Routledge Companion to Global Literary Adaptation in the Twenty-First Century.  This volume is under contract and we expect a publication date of 2022.  The Companion will offer new perspectives on the global circuits of contemporary literary adaptations beyond the book-to-film format.  We are interested in essays that address the following questions and more: how have the forces of globalization expanded the continuum of literary adaptation and appropriation to a multitude of cultural practices, users and uses? If literary adaptation in the twenty-first century can be considered a complex global network of influences, appropriations, methodologies and audiences across a diversity of media, in what ways does it render the original text problematic or even superfluous? In what ways do global environments of capital, knowledge and privilege shape  and restrict avenues of freedom and choice in the adaptation process? What new forms of activism might emerge in contemporary literary adaptation?  In addition to case studies of site-specific adaptive approaches to the literary text and the multi-directionality of sources and media, this volume will lay out new debates and theoretical frameworks for literary adaptation post-2000 in a global context.


We invite essays that may fall under the following headings:

 1.     Global literary adaptation in the 21st Century and/as method. 

This section extends the conceptual and methodological boundaries of what counts as literary adaptation. We seek proposals that focus on the following:

  • Where is literary adaptation in the twenty-first century?
  • The status or stability of the original literary text
  • The ethics of appropriation and the failures of fidelity
  • Alternate or marginalized histories of literary adaptation
  • Adapting literary texts from the Global South/literary adaptations from the Global South
  • Issues of textuality, translation and intertextuality
  • Canonicity and postcolonial histories
  • The place of adaptation within contemporary critical understandings of World Literature

 2.     Beyond Book-to-Screen:

This section explores how doing literary adaptation in a global context necessarily engages with new and traditional/cultural technologies, forms of communication, vernaculars and media. We invite proposals that go beyond the conventional method of book-to-screen adaptations and emphasize or complicate issues of cultural translation and revision in the adaptation process:

  • Theater and stage: novel-to-drama, poetry-to-play, performance art, puppetry
  • Musical and/or choreographed forms: opera, dance, musicals, music videos
  • Literary adaptation and visual forms/genres: graphic novels and comics, video games, picture books, television series, photography
  • Oral story-telling, folktales, mythological forms
  • Adaptation to social media

3.     Geographies of difference: 

We seek case studies that cover the ways in which literary adaptations have, in a deterritorialized, globalized context, inaugurated new  forms of postcolonial nationalisms.

  • Literary adaptations in ‘national’ forms: Bollywood, anime/manga, wuxia
  • Art/independent cinema and alternate peripheries and centers
  • Literary adaptation as decolonization
  • Geographies or areas ignored or absent in literary adaptation studies
  • Alternate places and temporalities
  • National milestones; national canons; heritages
  • Translation and the transcultural

4.     Soft power:

This section explores how literary adaptation can be harnessed to cultural industries of soft power and how adaptations of national texts can be caught in the dynamics between cultivating national cohesion and the influence of global Hollywood on content and distribution

  • Literary adaptation and propaganda
  • Whitewashing
  • Hollywood techniques and the dissemination of national and/or political values, cultural policies
  • National networks and state television
  • Institutions of taste making: celebrity book clubs, art festivals, funding agencies, literary prizes

5.     Circulation, markets and distribution: 

literary adaptation takes place within global structures of finance; we thus welcome submissions that covers topics such as:

  • Revenue streams and circulation
  • The shift and access to different viewing, playing and reading platforms,
  • licensing and piracy
  • censorship and distribution issues 
  • the global prizing industry

6.     Global uses and users:

This section shifts the conversation from reception and potential passivity of audiences to global users and active participation in the process of literary adaptation.

  • Fan cultures and participatory networks
  • User-created videos on YouTube and other platforms for self-use, educational purposes, online communities etc.
  • Cosplay, roleplay, LARP
  • Memes and gifs
  • Gamers and gaming

 7.     Activism:

This section addresses the ways in which contemporary global literary adaptations can critique or resist global capitalism, manage hybrid identities and imagine new democratic forms. 

  • Gender and feminism; slash; adapting as queering
  • Diversity casting and race
  • Literary adaptation and climate change and the environment
  • Avoiding censors
  • (In)fidelity as resistance; resisting adaptation
  • Literary adaptation at the border; camps; prisons
  • Boycotting works and cancel culture


Please, send a 300-500 word abstract to globallitadapt@gmail.com no later than 5 April, 2020.  

 Acceptance of proposals will be announced in early April 2020. We expect completed chapters to be submitted in April 2021 with a tentative publication date of  early 2022.  A more detailed timeline and dates will be shared with contributors once acceptances are finalized.

 Please send any queries to the editors: Liz Ho and Brandon Chua at globallitadapt@gmail.com