Adaptation Studies

adaptation_studies(formerly Film and Media Studies)

This research group will explore adaptation studies to raise key questions regarding the research and teaching of film and literature across various media and interpretive strategies, synthesizing approaches to address the most basic questions about what texts are, how they circulate and interact with other texts, and how they signify.

Films and new media have assumed many of the roles novels and short stories used to occupy in Western society and have adapted and incorporated a great deal from works of literature. For many years adaptation studies focused largely on questions of fidelity with the assumption of a uni-directional model in mind that moved from literary text to stage or screen. Now, however, the field has matured markedly with the re-evaluation of the idea of “adaptation” itself. No longer is adaptation thought of strictly in terms of transposing a narrative from a written text to another art form. Adaptation studies has expanded its understanding to recognize that this process also happens in reverse, in between different cultures, and between works within the same medium. Approaching adaptation studies in this way takes into account the different media and cultural traditions that contain structures and constraints unique to that particular medium and culture, while recognizing that these differences remain indeterminate and flexible relative to surrounding environments. Central to any question of adaptation is the creative dimension of translation and insight into how all forms of text shape each other and interact with cultural forces.

For further information, contact Christopher Oscarson (CAL).