Call for papers

In the current economic and political context dominated by states of crisis, of emergency and of exception, violence has become a pervasive phenomenon that has global effects at individual, community and environmental level. It has become part of our daily lives to such an extent, that its subtle mechanisms affecting freedom, personal and collective histories, and our living conditions are ideologically justified. Rationalized violence seems to be the “poisonous truth” of the “civilized” human condition, and its inscriptions on human and non-human bodies, a testimony which can be given voice, or can be silenced in literary, media and cinematic representations.

The topic of this conference, suggested by Jim Welsh, Professor Emeritus, Salisbury University, USA, addresses researchers from disciplines such as literary studies, film studies, translation studies, semiotics, and last but not at all least from the recently created research field of adaptation studies. The purpose is to explore the boundaries and the potentialities of adaptation, more broadly defined, as well as the (occasionally fuzzy) boundaries that distinguish this concept from other forms of translation (in all its senses) and rewriting in an attempt to attribute interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dimensions to on-going research in the field.The first journal in the field of literature/film studies, Literature/Film Quarterly (founded and edited by Jim Welsh), was initially interested in adaptations of literary and dramatic texts to film and later television, though more broadly defined notions of adaptation were not necessarily dismissed. Subsequent journals in the literature/film area (Adaptation - editors Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan, The Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance – edited by Richard Hand), recently published empirical and theoretical books (Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation (2005), Thomas Leitch, "Adaptation Studies and Its Discontents" (2007), as well as books dealing with a reconfiguration of the present day ‘territory’ of adaptation (Lawrence Raw, James M. Welsh and Dennis Cutchins (eds.), Redefining Adaptation Studies, 2010 or The Pedagogy of Adaptation, 2010 by the same editors, etc.), already show how much adaptation studies, which started from mere comparisons between a literary work and its adapted film have progressed in the last decades.At the same time, both adaptation and translation have been frequently defined and described in relation to each other. The history of translations is also one of adaptations. Translation theory has struggled against the judgments concerning the concept of fidelity that has dominated the writings on adaptations of literary works. The task of the translator and also that of the adapter have often been looked upon as similarly difficult and unrewarding. In view of its several (frequently overlapping) meanings, adaptation has been discussed from different perspectives not only between distinct areas of study but also within the same discipline. In translation studies, for instance, it has been related to topics such as translation strategy, genre, metalanguage or faithfulness (cf. Bastin, 2008). Other scholars, following Jakobson, consider adaptation as a form of inter-semiotic translation, and have started to produce a growing body of work on the ‘translation’ of literary as well as non-literary forms into other media, including film and the Internet.In spite of promising results in carrying out research that foregrounds in an increasingly nuanced manner differences and areas of crossover between translation and adaptation studies (e.g. Translation, Adaptation and Transformation, ed. Lawrence Raw, 2012) there still seems to be a need to pursue further refining research along these lines. On the other hand, more investigations need to be undertaken so as to approach the issue of adaptation from a(n increasingly) transdisciplinary perspective.We therefore welcome both general approaches as well as specific case-studies relating to the general conference theme that will allow participants to approach adaptation from as many (interrelated) angles of investigation as possible, and throw more light on this very old, yet still elusive concept.

Conference sub-themes:

  • Trans/Interdisciplinary definitions of adaptation;
  • Adaptation as : translation, transfer, transformation, appropriation, assimilation, intervention ;
  • Adaptation and translation as intertextual, intercultural, intermedial and interlinguistic operations;
  • Adaptation- translation- theatrical/film performance;
  • Features that differentiate an ‘intersemiotic translation’ from an original
  • The roles of adapters and translators in forging literary and cultural images;
  • The adapter’s vs. translator’s freedom;
  • The semiotic systems underlying translation and adaptation;
  • Translation and adaptation as politically loaded terms;
  • International news: translated and/or adapted?
  • Social constructions of adapters and translators
  • Text and film adaptations to (changed) socio-political contexts.

The closing date for the submission of abstracts (300-350 words) is 15 March 2013.

Notification of acceptance will be given by 30 April 2013.

Please send your abstracts to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Selected papers will be published in specialized reviews and in the Conference volume.