NeMLA 2023: Panel on Re-hierarchising Adaptation
Adaptation studies has contended with the question of hierarchies since it first emerged. Adaptation as a process similarly so: the problem of the source and the ‘original’ has established certain values and positions of texts. This has been challenged most notably through the debate in the field around fidelity, wherein the question of being ‘true’ to the source has been variously deemed fallacious, unhelpful, or both. Despite some recent proponents for it, what emerges from this is the challenging of the hierarchies that the fidelity debate espouses. Broadly, this has been main way in which these hierarchies have been challenged in adaptations, primarily due to the seemingly inescapable status fidelity has in the field. However, there are other ways in which the question of these hierarchies can be challenged that have implications for the broader concerns of both adaptation studies, and cultural understandings of textual value. This panel will look to explore how hierarchies have been challenged in adaptation, through approaches such as perception, distinction between actor and character, and reception. These papers could think about the role perception has on the hierarchies in adaptations: whether a text is understood as an adaptation, or whether it is engaged with in a specific temporal order that upsets the hierarchy of original/adaptation. The question of the boundaries between the actor and character’s body in an adaptation also provides a fruitful way of thinking about hierarchies, particularly of identities. Finally, papers could explore the question of reception studies and adaptation, re-hierarchising according to the needs and desires of the audience. It seeks to upend discussions around adaptation and de/re-construct the ways in which we understand adaptations.
Submit a paper proposal for the panel on re-hierarchizing adaptation through the NeMLA portal.