Archive for March 2017

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[ecrea] Adaptation and nation symposium: cfp

Sat Mar 11 20:02:01 GMT 2017

*Adaptation and Nation: Screen cultures in national, post-national and transnational contexts.*

A symposium to be held at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh on 22^nd June 2017.

Confirmed keynote: Professor Jeremy Strong, University of West London.

Between 2013 and 2015 adaptations accounted for over 50% of the films awarded significant levels of funding by Creative Scotland. /Filth/ (Baird 2013)/, Sunshine on Leith/ (Fletcher 2013)/, Under the Skin /(Glazer 2014)/, The Railway Man/ (Teplitzky 2014),/The Legend of Barney Thomson /(Carlyle 2015)/, Macbeth/ (Kurtzel 2015) and /Sunset Song/ (Davies 2015) indicate the relative robustness of what Murray (2012) has termed the ‘adaptation industry’ as it operates in Scotland.

However, in an online poll run by The Scottish Book Trust (2016 <>), television series /Outlander/ (Starz 2014-) was voted as the best Scottish Book-to-Screen adaptation, with 65% of the vote. /Trainspotting /finished second place with a mere 5% of the vote. /Outlander/, produced by US television network Starz, from Diana Gabaldon’s series of books, and only shown in the UK on Amazon Prime, poses several interesting questions about the processes of adaptation in national, post-national and transnational contexts.

Moreover, in economic and industrial contexts, the idea of national cinema has been argued to be unsustainable. For example, with more public investment from Swedish and German taxpayers than Scottish, how do we consider /Filth/ as a Scottish film adaptation? Similarly, /Sunset Song, /spent more time filming in Luxembourg and New Zealand than Scotland; and with more public money from Luxembourg too.

Further, with the increasing competitiveness of the global film market, and an apparent declining interest within the UK in ‘European’ or ‘World’ cinema (BFI), how do nations attempt to reap the economic and cultural benefits of screen production? Does adaptation provide an opportunity to better ‘brand the nation’? Elsaesser (2015) has argued that national cinema should increasingly be thought of as ‘performative’ and/or ‘post-national’. How do film adaptations perform the nation, if they do - and why?

This symposium will begin to map out some conceptual approaches to the study of adaptation in national, post-national and transnational contexts. It asks: what methodological challenges does considering adaptation within specific national contexts pose? It will consider how adaptations come to be, through networks of cultural policy, production, distribution and exhibition. It seeks to investigate screen adaptations’ textual resonances to national, post-national and transnational identities. It encourages a multi-disciplinary approach to the question of screen adaptation and nation, incorporating analyses from discursive, industrial and textual perspectives. While the illustrative example above considers a Scottish context, we welcome approaches within any national context – and those which refute the national context altogether, in favour of post-national and transnational lenses.

To this end, we invite proposals of 300 words for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of Adaptation and Nation. Topics may include but need not be confined to the following:

-Screen adaptation and cultural policy

-Screen adaptation and cultural heritage

-Screen adaptation and national identities

-Transnational screen adaptation

-Hollywood adaptations of ‘national’ literature

-Transcultural adaptations

-Screen adaptation and performance

-Screen adaptation and costume

-Screen adaptation and cultural tourism

The symposium will be an important event it its own right and will lead, we’re sure, to a valuable collection of published essays. A number of key film studies publishers have shown a positive interest in the symposium and its outcomes. It is also intended that the symposium will be a starting point in a bigger project which would look at the adaptation industry more broadly, and also build a network of researchers interested in adaptation in national, post-national and transnational contexts.

Proposals of 300 words and a 100 word biography should be sent to: (MStewart /at/ <mailto:(MStewart /at/>or (RMunro /at/ <mailto:(RMunro /at/>by 16th March 2017. For further information please email Michael Stewart or Robert Munro, on the email addresses above.

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