CFP : "Adaptation in the Arts : Theory and Practice"

International Conference
University of Maine at Farmington, USA/ Université du Maine, France
To be held at University of Maine at Farmington, April 28-29, 2016
Adaptation in the Arts : Theory and Practice

For an international conference co-sponsored by the University of Maine at Farmington, USA, and the Université du Maine in Le Mans, France, we invite proposals on the theory and practice of adaptation in the arts (including literature, film, music, theatre, and the visual arts). We welcome both theoretical investigations of adaptation and analyses of particular adaptations in any media.

We are particularly interested in proposals on the following topics, among others :

· The Poetics of Adaptation. Theoretical interventions, revisions, commentaries. How is adaptation most helpfully imagined or conceptualized ? What is the relation between adaptation and intertextuality ? What role do concepts like fidelity and appropriation have in the theory of adaptation ?

· Reading and Interpreting Adaptations. Analyses of individual adaptations in any media on their own or in relation to source texts. How does adaptation create or constrain meanings and interpretive possibilities in individual texts ?

· Graphic Texts. Readings of adaptations to and from graphic texts—including, for example, Fun Home, Persepolis, Spider-Man, Gareth Hinds’s Odyssey. What particular issues are raised by instances of transmediation like these ?

· Adaptation and Film. Readings that focus on the interplay between film and other media, particularly literature. Is film as a medium particularly adaptive ? How do cinematic modes of production and reception relate to textual modes ? In what ways is it helpful (or not helpful) to view film adaptations in relation to their source texts ?

· Adaptation and the Visual Arts. Responses to the phenomenon of postmodern appropriation in the visual arts, in which artists use effects of serial repetition and appropriation and question the notions of originality, aura and authorship. What is the theoretical position of these artists in relation to their practices, and what might be the implications of an art whose works are expected to lose their meaning in the flow of their reproductions and their technological mediations ? American Gothic, by Grant Wood, for example is a frequently parodied image ; it has been lampooned in Broadway shows, in films such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in television shows, in marketing campaigns, pornography, and by couples who recreate the image by facing a camera.

· Adaptation and Genre. How do adaptations across generic boundaries stabilize and/or destabilize traditional notions of genre and artistic form ? More specifically, how do authors adapt novels to the demands of graphic art, how do they move from a biography to a narrative non-fiction ?

· History and Ideology. Readings of adaptations that illuminate historical and ideological differences between source and adapted texts—for example, Kenneth Goldsmith’s The Body of Michael Brown or Patricia Rozema’s Mansfield Park. In what ways are adaptations shaped and conditioned by ideological and historical circumstances ? Is adaptation itself an inherently ideological process ? How does, for example, postcolonial literature address the problems and consequences of the political and cultural independence of formerly subjugated colonial peoples ? What are the types of adaptations used by writers and artists to revisit the colonial discourse and the “official” postcolonial discourse ?

· Adaptation and Translation. In what ways is it helpful (or not helpful) to view translations of literary texts as adaptations ? How does translation differ from adaptation—if it does ? Are translations vectors of reconfiguration related to cultural and language codes ?

The conference will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 28-29, 2016, on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington, in Farmington, Maine, USA. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract (250-300 words) and a CV to , and by January 3, 2016.

Organizing Committee : Kristen Case (UMF) Eliane Elmaleh (Université du Maine) Daniel Gunn (UMF) Michael Johnson (UMF) Benaouda Lebdai (Université du Maine)