NeMLA 2021: British Literature and Film: Finding 'Englishness' [hybrid/virtual platform]

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2021
contact email: 

In this session, we will especially focus on how the British classic literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries have been adapted concerning Thatcherism, the heritage industry, colonialism, Britishness (Englishness). The so-called "Heritage Fever," which hit British society in the 1980s, was largely supported by national-led policy. In the 1980s, for example, cultural heritage preservation movements spread nationwide; museums and heritage centers around the country were created. A great deal of British interest in the so-called “Old England,” such as visiting historic sites, became an honor factor. It is noteworthy that these “heritages” developed into various cultural products, combined with the daily consumption of the public, and formed into the so-called “Heritage Industry.” In the 1980s, Britain’s heritage industry was not just about commercializing cultural heritage to support the national economy. In the marketing of heritage, there was a politically conservative logic of cultural politics, calling on the British to destroy the “glory of the past” through the rituals of the British searching for objects symbolizing “Englishness” in old buildings and historic sites. We will explore the dynamic dialogues between multiple versions of adaptations, asking how and why adaptations recorded and modified their sources in a particular manner. We will focus on the paradigmatic approach rather than the compare and contrast approach to explore the impact of a particular social background and history on the adaptation or adaptation market.

May include these questions but not limited to: Why adaptations were made in the first place? Does the film have a “language” of its own, and is adaptation thus a form of translation? What are the perceptual differences in the relationships of the reader to book and spectator to film? Why did the adaptation film market grow in the United Kingdom after World War II? What is a heritage film, and how does it affect British identity? Does the adaptation reframe the past or original text?


*NeMLA has secured a hybrid/virtual platform for 2021 so that presenters who wish to participate virtually can certainly do so.