Shakespeare, Austen and audiovisual translation: the classics translated on screen
ROME, Sapienza University, 30th June - 2nd July 2022
Jane Austen and Shakespeare are twin icons whose afterlives have been declined in strikingly similar ways, something particularly evident in the proliferation of film and television adaptations of their novels and plays (Wifall 2010), which have allowed us to explore fruitfully the ‘‘intersecting cultural legacies’’ of this “unique duo” (Wells 2010).
If the scope, diversity and originality of Shakespearean adaptations is one of a kind, virtually creating a distinct sub-topic within film studies (Keyishian 2000), the generally more ‘direct’ (with notable exceptions) transpositions from Jane Austen and other multifariously adapted classic authors, especially from the nineteenth century (from Dickens to Tolstoy, from Hardy to Maupassant), arguably equal the bard’s in filmic popularity and have also spawned a plethora of academic research in the field of adaptation studies. Jane Austen’s characters, for example, have been appropriated in every medium, from cinema, to TV, to graphic novels and video games so that “at this point in the twenty-first century [they] have exceeded the boundaries of her novels and have become modern types or ideals, and her titles, phrases, and haunts have become part of the public sphere” (Garber 2003: 208).
While adaptation and intersemiotic studies about the classics on screen have been flourishing (see for example several essays in Leitch 2017), audiovisual translation (AVT) has comparatively neglected adapted classics, arguably preferring to focus on contemporary TV series, video games and films of all times not necessarily referred to an illustrious hypotext.
AVT incursions into adapted literature, however, include studies on popular TV series such as Sherlock (Rodríguez Domínguez & Silvia Martínez Martínez 2015), Detective Montalbano (Bruti&Ranzato 2019, Dore 2017, Taffarel 2012) and The Game of Thrones (Hayes 2021, Iberg 2017, Rivera Trigueros & del Mar Sanchez 2019); the subtitling and/or dubbing of adaptations from the novels by Jane Austen (Bianchi 2016, Sandrelli 2019), Emily Brontë (Almeida et at. 2019), Miguel de Cervantes (Ariza 2018), Charles Dickens (LIang 2020), Henryk Sienkiewicz (Woźniak 2017); from the plays by William Shakespeare (Anselmi 1999, Díaz Cintas 1995, Dwi Hastuti 2015, Ranzato 2011, Sellent Arús 1997, Soncini 2002 and 2008) and their rewritings, commentaries or children’s adaptations (Bruti & Vignozzi 2016, Minutella 2016); and from contemporary classics from The Great Gatsby (Gilic 2020, Vula 2018) to For Whom the Bell Tolls (Zanotti 2019), Little Women (Bruti & Vignozzi 2021) and Harry Potter (Dewi 2016, Liang 2018).
This conference aims at populating this specific area of studies by attracting contributions which analyse, from the point of view of AVT, the audiovisual texts that relate to the words, the language and the characterisations that inspired them, those penned by the most adapted authors such as Shakespeare and Austen, and those featured in the classics of all times and cultures.
We thus encourage AVT analyses of films/TV/video games:
- based on the plays by William Shakespeare;
- based on the novels by Jane Austen;
- based on the novels and short stories which have attracted the attention of directors and writers over the years, including but not limited to: Louisa M. Alcott, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway, E.M. Forster, Henry James, John le Carré, C.S, Lewis, Ian McEwan, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, J.K. Rowling, Mary Shelley, John Steinbeck, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, William Makepeace Thackeray, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.G. Wells, Edith Wharton, to mention just a few of those authors whose individual works have benefited from multiple readings;
- based on the plays by popular playwrights, including but not limited to: Alan Ayckbourn, J.M. Barrie, Noël Coward, David Mamet, Arthur Miller, John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Terence Rattigan, George Bernard Shaw, Tom Stoppard, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, to mention just a few English-speaking authors who are both widely adapted and some of them adapters for the cinema;
- based on the works by classic and contemporary classic authors from all over the world as adapted in their respective languages and into English, including but not limited to: Isabel Allende, Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bernanos, Michail Bulgàkov, Andrea Camilleri, Anton Čechov, Miguel de Cervantes, Fëdor Dostoevskij, Alexandre Dumas, Elena Ferrante, Gustave Flaubert, Gabriel García Márquez, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Guanzhong, Sadegh Hedayat, Victor Hugo, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Alessandro Manzoni, Guy de Maupassant, Houshang Moradi Kermani, Haruki Murakami, Alberto Savinio, Arthur Schnitzler, Leonardo Sciascia, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Georges Simenon, Stendhal, Lev Tolstòj, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Wu Cheng’en, Émile Zola, to mention just some of the most cinematographically popular authors.
We welcome proposals from the following areas of study:
- subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH);
- audio description;
- accessibility and new technologies in AVT;
- censorship and ideological manipulation in AVT;
- AVT as a pedagogical tool for language teaching and learning;
- gender studies in AVT;
- reception and perception studies in AVT;
- historical and genetic studies in AVT;
- all linguistic approaches to AVT with special relevance to the analysis of standard and nonstandard language varieties.
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