The Tenth Annual Association of Adaptation Studies Conference

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The Tenth Annual Association of Adaptation Studies Conference
Welcome to the tenth annual conference of the Association of Adaptation Studies. It is exciting to be back in London after a very successful event at the BFI. We like to travel around, and so far the conference has been held in the UK (four times), the USA (twice), Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Turkey.
The Association of Adaptation Studies (formerly the Association for Literature on Screen) was founded in 2005 and had its first conference in 2006 in Leicester.

The purpose of the Association is to promote the study of adaptations across educational institutions and countries, being the study of the adaptation of literature to film, film to literature and transmedia adaptations across different disciplines and educational sectors.

The Association became a registered UK Charity in 2010, by which time a journal - Adaptation - had been established with Oxford University Press in 2008. The Association and the journal retain a close relationship and the journal’s annual student essay prize promotes the work of emerging researchers in the field. The conference is now a well-established feature on the academic calendar and is popular with those whose interests are inter- and cross-disciplinary. There are a growing band of conference stalwarts but also a steady wave of new members: one thing we all agree on is that the range and standard of papers presented every year make it a highly valuable event
The founding Chair of the Association, Professor Deborah Cartmell, has worked tirelessly to maintain the momentum of the Association. Her contributions to the work of the Association are many and varied, from taking a lead role in the coordination of each conference, to setting up the journal, to obtaining grant funding while the Association was still in its infancy. She continues today as Treasurer; and as Director of the Centre for Adaptations at De Montfort University she provides a genuine hub for adaptation studies in the UK. At this tenth conference it seems appropriate to mark our gratitude to her.
Thanks are due, to Association Secretary Jamie Sherry who has taken a lead role in organizing this event and supporting our communications over the past year. Kyle Meikle has helped us update the website and Anna Blackwell maintains our membership records. Finally, we would like to thank all the Trustees for their support and contributions to the Association over the years and to OUP for such a successful and high impact journal.
We hope to meet most of you over the course of the conference and if you enjoy it, we urge you to stay in touch, support us with your membership, a subscription to the journal and by sharing your research with us at these highly enjoyable annual gatherings.
Very best wishes,
Jeremy Strong and Imelda Whelehan
(Co-Chairs, The Association for Adaptation Studies)


Jon Millington, Events Manager, University of London, School of Advanced Study, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Tel. +44 (0)20 7664 4859 | Email: | Web:
The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the Events Manager in advance of the event taking place.
All conference sessions will be held in Senate House, University of London, Malet Street WC1E 7HU.  Please look out for directional signs.  We will be using the following rooms:

Thursday 24 September:
Bedford Room G37: ground floor

Chancellor’s Hall, Grand Lobby & Senate Room: 1st floor

Room 349: 3rd floor
Friday 25 September:
Beveridge Hall, Macmillan Hall, Bloomsbury Room G35, Bedford Room G37: ground floor

Senate Room: 1st floor

Room 349: 3rd floor


Wifi is available throughout the building via the network UoL Conferences. The password changes each day and can be obtained from the main reception desk. Alternatively, you may use Eduroam if you are enabled to do so through your home institution.

Local Information:

Underground: Nearest stations: Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) or Goodge Street (Northern Line).  Also within walking distance: Euston Square, Euston, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Warren Street, Portland Place, King’s Cross.
Overground: National rail links within walking distance: Euston, King’s Cross, and the international Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras. The other London mainline stations are a short taxi or Tube ride away.
Bus routes: Russell Square / Woburn Place: 7, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188 | Gower Street (heading south) and Tottenham Court Road (heading north): 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 309.
Car Parking: Public car parking is not available at Senate House.  NCP parking is available at Woburn Place and Bloomsbury Place.
Transport for London: has information, maps and prices for travelling around Greater London. NB: Oyster Cards or contactless debit/credit cards give the best value for money.  Oyster Card may be topped up with cash and kept for your next visit to London.


Chancellor’s Hall 1st floor, Senate House
Grand Lobby 1st floor, Senate House
Senate Room 1st floor, Senate House
Bedford Room G37 Ground floor, Senate House
Room 349 3rd floor, Senate House
Crush Hall Ground floor, Senate House
Beveridge Hall Ground floor, Senate House
Bloomsbury Room G35 Ground floor, Senate House
Macmilllan Hall Ground floor, Senate House
Beveridge Hall Ground floor, Senate House


9.30 – 10.00: Registration and Coffee (Grand Lobby)

10.00 – 11.00: Keynote: Prof. Graham Holderness – ‘There's no place like London: Adapting Sweeney Todd’ (Chancellor’s Hall)

11.00 –11.30: Coffee (Grand Lobby)


Panel 1 (Chancellor’s Hall)
Modernity and Politics in the metropolis
(Chair: Yvonne Griggs)

1. Marta Frago, ‘The city as mirror of dreams in the new political biopic’;

2. Dwi Setiawan, ‘City, Morality, and Politicisation: An Indonesian Case’;

3. Joyce Goggin, ‘Adapting the Moneyscape: Las Vegas and the City Theme’;

4. Dave Cliffe, ‘From Wiretapper to Enemy of the State: Hacking, Technology and Genre in The Conversation and Enemy of the State’

Panel 2 (Senate Room)
Metropolitan Shakespeares
(Chair: Deborah Cartmell)

1. Amanda K. Ruud, ‘Silent Shakespeare and the Society of Spectacle’;

2. Laura Campillo Arnaiz, ‘I Can Has Cheezburger? Shakespeare Meets the Internet Memes’;

3. Clara Calvo, ‘As Seen on TV: Adapting Biography and the Documentary Tradition’;

4. Douglas Lanier, ‘Vlogging the Bard: Social Media, Serialization, Shakespeare’

Panel 3 (Bedford Room G37)
(Chair: Jonathan Bignell)

1. Homer B. Pettey, ‘The Lodger: Remapping London’;

2. Wieland Schwanebeck, ‘From London to Gagool’s Cave: James Bond’s Colonial Adventures’;

3. Rebecca Steinberger, ‘”I Predict a Riot”: London, Politics, Theatre’;

4. Eli Løfaldli ,‘”Leave the Character of Graveairs in the Country”: Eighteenth-Century London in Adaptation’

Panel 4 (Room 349)
Postmodern/modern cities
(Chair: Jeremy Strong)

1. Dario Lolli, ‘Tōkyō, Capital of Postmodernity?’;

2. Christophe Collard, ‘Refracted Remediation: Pynchon’s Brussels As Liminal Milieu’;

3. Zhu Jianxin, ‘Two Tales of One City: Constructing and Reconstructing a Cosmopolitan Shanghai’;

4. Mario Slugan, ‘Montage and Representation of the City in Phil Jutzi’s Adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz’

1.00 – 2.00: Lunch: Grand Lobby

2.00 – 3.30

Panel 5 (Chancellor’s Hall)
Crime Television Drama
(Chair: Imelda Whelehan)

1. Yvonne Griggs, ‘Reconfiguring Urban Landscapes: the Global Spread of Nordic Noir TV’;

2. Thomas Van Parys, ‘Seeing Person of Interest through the Prism of Adaptation’;

3. Vanessa Gerhards, ‘Unmasking Miami – How to Learn about City Branding with Dexter’;

4. Valerie Hazette, ‘A bridge between Bron/Broen and The Tunnel/Le Tunnel: Néo-noir dystopia in regionalised Europe?’

Panel 6 (Senate Room)
The Metropolis in South Asia
(Chair: Douglas Lanier)

1. Elżbieta Rokosz-Piejko‘ Indian slum life in adaptation – the literary and the theatrical Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity’;

2. Melissa Croteau, ‘Mumbai, Poverty, and Secular Identity in Q & A and Slumdog Millionaire’;

3. Ana Cristina Mendes, ‘Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool: Macbeth in Mumbai’;

4. Rizwan Akhtar, ‘Re-imagining Lahore as a cultural metropolis in Mira Nair’s adaptation of Mohsin’ Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007)’

Panel 7 (Bedford Room G37)
Representing/challenging the city
(Chair: Katja Krebs)

1. Stephen Morgan, Can’t stand city life’: The Shiralee and Australia's urban ambivalence’;

2. Sophia Basaldua ‘Metropolis: A Postcolonial Reading of the Global City’;

3. Frans Weiser,Rereading Rio de Janeiro in Rubem Fonseca’s and Walter Salles’ A Grande Arte’;

4. David Forrest and Sue ViceMade in Sheffield: Adapting Barry Hines’ Novels’

Panel 8 (Room 349)
New York City in the frame
(Chair: R. Barton Palmer)

1. Julie Grossman, ‘The Other Side of the Streets: A Re/Sounding Adaptation of Silent Film’;

2. Rosella Simonari, ‘Martha Graham’s Lamentation and the City of New York’;

3. Eckart Voigts, ‘Recombinant Adaptations: “10 Hours Walking in NYC as a Woman” and the Role of Urban Space in Parody Remaking

3.30 – 4.00: Coffee (Grand Lobby)

4.00 – 5.30

Panel 9 (Chancellor’s Hall)
(Chair: Judith Buchanan)

1. Aristotelis Nikolaidis, ‘The Dystopian Metropolis and the State of Exception: Rethinking the Politics of Adaptation in The Children of Men’;

2. Iklim Tekin, ‘Journey of Changing Dynamics, Shaped by Fears, Anxieties, Threats of the Time, from Contemporary Sci-Fi Genre to Film Adaptations’;

3, Nicholas Ruddick, ‘Constructing the Ministry of Truth: The University of London Senate House in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Its Film Adaptations’;

4. Elena Nistor, ‘From Minitrue to War Office: Senate House and Shades of Authority in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), Richard III (1995) and Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang

Panel 10 (Senate Room)
Fantasy & lives reimagined
(Chair: Deborah Cartmell)

1. Ashley Polasek, ‘Mr. Holmes and the Fictional Biopic: Creating Biography through Adaptation’;

2. Natalie Hayton, ‘Historical (Dis)enchantments: fairy tale kingdoms and domestic fantasy in three novels by Philippa Gregory’;

3. Cassandra Brummitt, ‘Paratexts of Harry Potter: the significance of adaptive spaces’;

4. Dana Vasiliu, ‘It is time to be Sherlock Holmes’: Constructing and Performing Identities in the 21st Century Metropolis‘

Panel 11 (Bedford Room G37)
Subverting Genre
(Chair: Eckart Voigts)

1. Sarah Penger, ‘The Recreation of the Gangster Genre across Media within a Serial Storyworld’;

2. Carolyn Rickards, ‘Curiouser Indeed’: Alice in Wonderland as Brit Gangland Crime Flick’;

3. Martin Regal, ‘Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: A Tale of Two Cities’

4. Yelda özkoçak, ‘Turkeywood “Films Are Omitted’

Panel 12 (Room 349)
Comic book Superheroes
(Chair: Joyce Goggin)

1. Jose Duarte, ‘Everything becomes chaos – Gotham as vision of the contemporary city’;

2. Anna Blackwell, ‘Saving the day? The American superhero film adaptation and the city’;

3. James Taylor, ‘Superheroes in in New York? Give Me a Break”: Representing Urban Experience in Superhero Blockbusters’

5.30 – 6.30: Conference Reception (Grand Lobby)

6.30 – CONFERENCE DINNER: Antalya Restaurant, 103-105 Southampton Row


9.00- 9.30: Registration & Coffee (Crush Hall)

9.30 – 11.00

Panel 13 (Beveridge Hall)
Penny Dreadful
(Chair: Thomas Leitch)

1. Chris Louttit, ‘Victorian London Redux: Adapting the Gothic Metropolis’;

2. Dragoş Manea, ‘An American Vampire in London: Remediating the Victorian Metropolis in Dracula and Penny Dreadful’;

3. Sinan Akıllı & Seda Öz , ‘“No More Let Life Divide...”: Victorian Metropolitan Confluence in Penny Dreadful’;

4. Lauren Rocha, ‘Angel in the House, Devil in the City: Explorations of Gender in Dracula and Penny Dreadful’

Panel 14 (Bloomsbury Room G35)
The Screenplay
(Chair: Shelley Cobb)

1. Laura Fryer, ‘Absorbing the world of others: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s adapted screenplays and presentations of cities’;

2. Kyle Meikle, ‘The Illustrated Screenplay’;

3. Jonathan Ogilvie, ‘The Secret Agent as Lone Wolf: Adapting Joseph Conrad’s novel as a Cineveillance screenplay’

Panel 15 (Bedford Room G37)
Games, Cities, Globalisation
(Chair: Jeremy Strong)

1. Johannes Fehrle , The Post-Apocalyptic City as Jungle in SpecOps: The Line’;

2. Nico Dicecco, Adaptive Play: Scott Pilgrim and the Pleasures of a Violent City’;

3. Andrei Nae, ‘The Town as a Reflexive Hybrid Entity in the Silent Hill Storyworld’

Panel 16 (Room 349)
Adapting City Landscapes
(Chair: Anna Blackwell)

1. Hila Shachar, You’re my playground love’: The Present and Absent City in Ana Kokkinos’s Head On and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides’;

2. Željko Uvanović, ‘The reflection of Zagreb’s exteriors and interiors as well as of centre and periphery of the urban life as seen in selected adaptations of Croatian literature’;

3. Matthew Richardson, ‘Marooned in the future-present: A speculative adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s “Concrete Island” using Google Street View’;

4. Christopher Thornton, ‘Artistic License: Exploring the Limits’

11.00 – 11.30: Coffee (Macmillan Hall)

11.30 – 12.30: A Reunion: Screenwriter Andrew Davies and Former Head of BBC Drama, Jonathan Powell in Conversation

(Beveridge Hall)

12.30—1.30: Lunch (Macmillan Hall)

1.30 – 3.00

Panel 17 (Beveridge Hall)
Theorising the Metropolis
(Chair: Kamilla Elliot)

1. Casie Hermansson, ‘Ungrammaticality and the Uncanny in Adaptation’;

2. Marcus Nicholls, ‘Adaptation as Mourning: Correspondences Between Modern Adaptation Theory and Themes of Object Loss and Mourning in George Rodenbachʼs Bruges-la-Morte and Le Carillonneur’;

3. Robert Geal, ‘From Barthesian and Bakhtinian to Benvenistene authorship’;

4. Thomas Leitch, ‘Mind the Gaps’

Panel 18 (Bloomsbury Room G35)
Tie-ins, reversions and parody
(Chair: Kyle Meikle)

1. Larry A. Gray, ‘BioShock and Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand-ed, Newly Branded’;

2. Ana Coelho, ‘(Dis)placement and fantasy in Lost in Austen’;

3. Claire Monk, ‘Dissecting Ripper Street (BBC-TV 2013–14, BBC-TV/Amazon 2015–): from Victorian East London to 21st-century global markets’

Panel 19 (Bedford Room G37)
Recreating/capturing the past

(Chair: Jeremy Strong)

1. Katja Krebs, ‘Performing the Other: Adapting the Foreign in the Metropolis’;

2. Jonathan Bignell, ‘Rings around London: Television in 1946’;

3. Vesna Dinić, ‘Architecture of Memories: Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza’;

4. Hui Wu, ‘A Woman and a City’

Panel 20 (Room 349)
The European City Adapted
(Chair: Joyce Goggin)

1. Laura Hatry, ‘Ruttmann’s Berlin: The Symphony of a Great City (1927) in Schadt’s Berlin Symphony (2002)’;

2. Victor Xavier Zarour Zarzar, ‘Sporadic Flashes of Beauty: Rome and the Imagination’;

3. Anna Fábián, ‘City Landmarks Shaping Shakespeare on page, on stage and on the screen’

3.00 – 3.30: Coffee (Crush Hall)

3.30 – 4.30: Final Keynote: Prof. Judith Buchanan,Real things? An intermedial conversation’ (Beveridge Hall)

4.30 – 5.00: AGM (Beveridge Hall)

Conference Abstracts

Panel 1: Modernity and Politics in the metropolis
Marta Frago, ‘The city as mirror of dreams in the new political biopic’

The aim of this paper is to analyze the link between the lives of political leaders and iconic images of cities in biographical films of the last decade. It is undeniable that Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings or Queens have a clear connection to the cities in which they have lived during the years of their lifes or tenures. The images of these cities can operate at different levels which will be analysed in a group of titles, such as The Queen, The Iron Lady, Lincoln, Mandela, Walesa, etc. At the most superficial level, urban scenarios play the role of contextualizing the story represented in the biopic. Besides, they can also help to draw psychological traits of the leader as protagonist. Sometimes, and more interestingly, these images create associations or implicit meanings through symbols and metaphors, which connect the life of protagonists with dreams, social mores, positive or negative human values and

unspecific impressions. Finally, this paper will illustrate the way in which an urban space appears on screen in these films may provoke different emotional responses on viewers in relation to well-known places and people, such as curiosity, nostalgia, and positive or negative reactions towards progress and the change of times.
Dwi Setiawan, ‘City, Morality, and Politicisation: An Indonesian Case’

This paper aims to discuss the representations and repressions of city in an Indonesian novel The Dancer (1982), written by Ahmad Tohari during the military era, and its post-military film adaptation with the same title by Ifa Isfansyah. The military regime tried to project the urban space as a solid, steady, and modern reality because it was a proof of the regime’s successful developmentalism. While the representation is supported by popular literature and cinema, more ‘serious’ works portray the urban space as “a site of socio-economic disjuncture and moral contradiction” (Paramadhita 500). However, in terms of re-solution, the latter are still trapped in the activisms of the middle class, which were the regime’s very concept of social improvement (Aspinall). In contrast, the post-military era’s literature and cinema tend to embrace the city and its contradictions, and this frees them from the middle class’ guilt as well as the urban poor’s radicalism. Following the realist trend of his time, Tohari’s novel portrays the city of Dawuan as a place of socio-economic tension and moral hypocrisy. The city’s middle class is negatively depicted as the source of politicisation in the neighbouring Paruk village. Nonetheless, the divided and hypocritical Dawuan is still seen as a better community than the backward and sexually immoral Paruk. The political and moral salvation for Paruk comes from the ‘apolitical’ military forces from the same city. Isfanyah’s adaptation follows the narrative of the novel regarding the city’s politicisation of the village. Yet, while showing the benevolence of the urban military, the film also shows its involvement in the destruction of the village and dis-engages it from the village’s future. The sexual immorality is associated mainly with the village but fairly suppressed in the film.

Joyce Goggin, ‘Adapting the Moneyscape: Las Vegas and the City Theme’

This contribution seeks to move adaptation studies beyond the typical objects of investigation (novel into film, play into film, film into video game), while equally looking beyond the standard operations of formalism. While adaptation studies seem to have stalled at the semiotic surface of texts (Murray, 2012), and dead-ended into formalistic comparisons of various features of one text as translated into another medium, I want to examine the political economy of adaptation as an enterprise. The case I have chosen to explore is the current practice in Las Vegas of adapting cities—New York, Bellagio, Paris, Venice—as casino themes, and what that this gesture means in the context of a globalizing financialized economy. As well, I will analyse the cities that Vegas has chosen to adapt, namely centres of high capitalist modernity, and what that has to do with the industry that drives the city’s economy, namely gambling. My analysis here will also entail the politics of adaptation between the financial market, or casino capitalism, and the industry as it is represented and managed in Las Vegas.

Dave Cliffe, ‘From Wiretapper to Enemy of the State: Hacking, Technology and Genre in The Conversation and Enemy of the State

Technology and surveillance have been prevalent in film and fiction over the last few decades, particularly against the backdrop of the urban landscape. This paper will use the lens of genre to compare the depiction of surveillance and hacking processes and technology in The Conversation from 1974 with that of Enemy of the State from 1998. The former offers significant insight into Harry Caul’s world of wiretapping and surveillance in the 1970s setting as it centres on Caul’s reconstruction of the titular conversation and considers the moral dilemma of the consequences of invading, recording and sharing the secrets of his targets against the backdrop of the anonymous urban landscape. In contrast, Enemy of the State presents hacking and surveillance on a larger stage as Robert Dean becomes embroiled in a government conspiracy and ultimately becomes the titular ‘enemy of the State’. Moreover, the act of hacking and surveillance is depicted as a more dynamic process, as the technology is used to not only observe, but to actually interact with, the target’s life. Mapping and comparing key generic features in the two films demonstrates the manner in which the progression of this technology has affected this urban landscape.

Panel 2: Metropolitan Shakespeares
Amanda K. Ruud, ‘Silent Shakespeare and the Society of Spectacle’

It is September of 1899. If you happen to be in London on the night of the 20th, your evening entertainment will present a curious opportunity: you might attend a spectacular production of Shakespeare’s King John at Her Majesty’s theatre starring the illustrious Herbert Beerbohm Tree, or—if you are intrigued by the brave new world of moving cinema—you might wander into the Palace Theatre instead. There, alongside a Japanese acrobat and a live recitation, you could watch three scenes of the same play in a projected pantomime performance. Should you choose the Palace’s entertainments, you would be among the audience of the very first film adaptation of a Shakespeare play. But what exactly would you have witnessed, and what relation might your experience bear to those in the audience at Her Majesty’s? This essay will place the early silent films of Shakespeare in their metropolitan context. Keeping in mind Alfred Gell’s concept of the “technology of enchantment,” I will consider the charms of Shakespeare on the early British screen as a means of mediating, to an urban audience, the wonders of new technologies by means of old stories. Moreover, I will examine the ways that early Shakespeare films—particularly Percy Stowe’s 1908 Tempest—dwell on the contemporary fascination with illusion in an emerging culture of spectacle. How, I will ask, does Shakespeare on the silent screen in 1908 betray its concerns with visuality and illusionism, and to what extent does that interest suggest the reliance of adaptation itself on the pleasures of the visual?

Laura Campillo Arnaiz, ‘I Can Has Cheezburger? Shakespeare Meets the Internet Memes’

Internet memes have become a widespread phenomenon in the past decades. Virally transmitted through online social networks by adolescents, the bulk of internet memes is grounded on humor and shock-value curiosities such as the Star Wars Kid , the LOLcats or the Trololo Sing Along . The Oxford English dictionary provides a definition which emphasizes one of the most interesting features of memes, the fact that they can be passed on as exact copy or can change and evolve: “[a meme is] an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations”. Although not as popular as the Dramatic Chipmunk , Shakespeare and his plays have been extensively appropriated for and by several Internet memes. From the characterization of Shakespeare wearing EMO glasses to the adaptation of lines, quotes and speeches, there's hardly a Shakespearean play that hasn't been appropriated and circulated in Internet memes for comic relief:

My aim in this paper will be to analyze and categorize the Shakespeare related Internet memes I have found during my research, providing a discussion and statistical data about the plays most frequently appropriated, the social networks where these memes tend to appear and spread and the implications these appropriations may have for the field of Shakespeare Studies.
Clara Calvo, ‘As Seen on TV: Adapting Biography and the Documentary Tradition’

Michael Wood’s In Search of Shakespeare (2003), a BBC mini-series consisting of four episodes (1- ‘A Time of Revolution’; 2- ‘The Lost Years’; 3- ‘The Duty of Poets’; 4 ‘For All Time’) is an example of how the documentary tradition meets BBC Shakespeare. The mini-series provides much opportunity for reflection on TV Shakespeare, on what is a biographical documentary, on what choices are made when adapting the life of a grand homme like Shakespeare to the screen and on how  adaptation impinges on the narratives about Shakespeare, his life and his plays that are broadcast for large audiences. This paper aims to formulate a handful of research questions, hoping that they may trigger future research on the topic. These research questions will show the complex relation In Search of Shakespeare bears to the multi-layered traditions of the documentary film and of adapting the life of Shakespeare for BBC TV. Some of these questions prioritise questions of form and filming technique while others touch on the ideological implications of authenticity, education and entertainment. Taking as point of departure Trinh T. Mihn-ha’s ideas on the existence of a ‘documentary tradition’, this paper will suggest that it is within the ‘tradition’ rather than the ‘genre’ of the TV documentary that Michael Wood’s In Search of Shakespeare ought to be placed. Placing In Search of Shakespeare within the documentary tradition makes it possible to show how the mini-series is trapped in the inescapable loop of authenticity. Ultimately, this analysis of Michael Wood’s filmed biography of Shakespeare will show how the BBC’s conflicting aims of entertainment and education interact with the media specificity of adapting for the moving image.

Douglas Lanier, ‘Vlogging the Bard: Social Media, Serialization, Shakespeare’

An extension of the form pioneered by The Lizzie Bennett Diaries in 2012, the literary webseries has came of age in the past three years and has quickly become an extraordinarily popular form for adapting classical literary texts. Adaptations of Shakespeare have become especially prominent during this golden age of the webseries: nineteen have been or are being produced since 2014, and two more are currently seeking funding through crowdsourcing sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. "Vlogging the Bard" will offer an overview of this emergent adaptational form, using several Shakespearean series–"Nothing Much to Do," "Kate the Cursed," "Shakes," "Blank Verse" and "Othello: The Webseries"–as my study examples. I will focus especially on two distinctive adaptational techniques of the form, the vlog and the serial. My interest will be in detailing various means by which makers of these webseries hybridize Shakespearean narrative, the conventions of the vlog, and the demands of serialization, and the ideological consequences of different approaches to transmediation within the literary webseries format. I will be addressing the ways in which this emergent adaptational form both dovetails with and diverges from the "teen Shakespeare" cinema cycle of the 1990s. Along the way, I will consider the implications of web-serialization for contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare, and the implications of using Shakespeare as a touchstone for webseries as the form seeks cultural status and subcultural legitimacy.

Panel 3: London
Homer B. Pettey, ‘The Lodger: Remapping London’

Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927) constructs textual, economic, and psychological cityscapes. These urbanscapes occur as physical maps, architectural divisions, and media topology that demarcate gender and class differences of modernity. These cinemascapes also intersect to convey the shifting mood of a traumatized metropolis. In the film, the serial killer, the Avenger, only exists as triangulated cartographic points that denote spatial-temporal metro-psychosis. Both actual and imaginary topography, whether within architectural spaces or in the streets of the city, create palimpsests of London. This metropolis of simulations emerges from several adaptations of maps within the diegetic narrative, as well as in relationship to the literary and cultural cartography of the concept of the city of London. This process of adaptation extends beyond Hitchcock’s cinematic re-creation of Lowndes’ novel or a re-enactment of the ghastly Ripper crimes. From Hitchcock’s initial scenes of visual media saturation of the serial strangulations through the victimizing of the Lodger in the street chase, the film comments upon how the modern city defines itself in terms of fetishized spectacles of violence. The Lodger, then, critiques modernity’s penchant for both ascribing to and violating those social and psychological boundaries that delineate the urban metropolis.

Wieland Schwanebeck, ‘From London to Gagool’s Cave: James Bond’s Colonial Adventures’

The Bond franchise has recently taken to fight the “War on Terrorism” at the home front (with the British capital taking centre stage in the most recent 007 adventure, Skyfall). Before that, the city of London was often relegated to serving as the backdrop of the obligatory (and often ridiculed) “Basil Exposition” scenes at the beginning of the films: an establishing shot of Big Ben, followed by M briefing Bond in his office, then sending him off to a more exotic location like Thailand or the Bahamas. However, it would be wrong to assume that London is only of minor importance in the classic Bond films, just because its screen-time is fairly limited. Quite on the contrary, my paper will interrogate London’s role as an ideological centre of power that frames the 007 adventure. For this purpose, I will draw upon a case study grounded in adaptation studies, reading Roger Moore’s final outing as 007, A View to a Kill (1985, dir. John Glen), as an adaptation of H. Rider Haggard’s classic adventure tale, King Solomon’s Mines (1885) – a tale whose importance for the literary and ideological DNA of the Bond stories has been neglected so far.

Rebecca Steinberger, ‘‘I Predict a Riot’: London, Politics, Theatre’

Today, London possesses a fractured landscape—remnants of the great Metropolis bear the stamp of Empire, while the cityscape of the new millennium must be recognized as markers of a burgeoning global epi-centre. Undeniably, the architecture mirrors the culture. London’s population is as multi-faceted and fragmented as the structures that dot the horizon. Not surprising, political unrest ensues; and this turbulence is adapted to the London stage. The concept of theatre providing a space for resistance is certainly nothing new, but the modus operandi has clearly evolved in the 21st century. Social media has impacted the arts, and the stage has responded accordingly. Adapting the Metropolis in a time of crisis stemming from the London Riots of 2011, for example, playwrights Gillian Slovo (The Riots, 2011) and Alecky Blythe (Little Revolution, 2014) expose how the socially, economically, and racially oppressed are disenfranchised and alienated from the Urban Centre. More recently, an influx of political plays have been performed in the capitol in light of the UK’s General Election. Through an examination of the theatrical response to this period of urban decay in London, we can see how the angst-riddled citydwellers are offered a stage where their fear(s) can be expressed.

Eli Løfaldli, ‘Leave the Character of Graveairs in the Country’: Eighteenth-Century London in Adaptation’

The thematisation of the contrast between town and country is a recurring feature in much eighteenth-century fiction, and London as a site of refinement and debauchery that can corrupt the manners and morals of the country’s young is a common trope. The work of Henry Fielding is no exception: in several of his novels, he explores the contrast between town and country, often through depictions of young characters from the country who arrive in London and have to negotiate the dangers and possibilities of ‘the proud Metropolis of Britain’. The proposed paper discusses how this common trope finds expression in adaptations of Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749) from 1963 and 1997. It will thus address how mid-eighteenth-century conceptions of London are articulated in modern film and television adaptations by discussing how Fielding’s descriptions of the city – as space and symbol – are represented in later periods. Characters’ negotiation of the contrasting constructs of rusticity and refinement has meanings beyond the apparent, and contributes to the function of London as an arena where issues connected to power, gender and sexuality are played out in Fielding’s fiction and modern adaptations alike.

Panel 4: Postmodern/modern cities
Dario Lolli, Tōkyō, Capital of Postmodernity? Adapting the City in Kon Satoshi’s Animated Film Tokyo Godfathers

Unplanned and with an ‘empty’ centre, overwhelmed by the presence of multiple signs and mega screens, Tōkyō has been often exoticised as the quintessential Asian postmodern city. Either in idealised or dystopic forms, adaptations of Tōkyō in the popular productions of Japanese cinema, animation and manga have somehow reflected the restructuring plans of various urban designers, businessmen and policy-makers aiming at transforming Tōkyō into a technologically advanced global city. Against this recurring spatial discursivity, this paper aims at exposing the other side of Tōkyō’s postmodern urban redevelopment. It will focus on the adaptation of the city in Kon Satoshi’s animated film Tōkyō Godfathers (2003), an unlikely journey across the metropolis by three homeless living at the margin of Japanese society. Although the film is itself an adaptation of the ‘Christmas comedy’ genre – therefore enacting a happy ending closure – its central focus on inequalities based on class, ethnicity and sexuality playfully challenges many conservative self-representations of Japanese society. On the other hand, however, its animetic adaptation of Tōkyō is itself a spectacularisation of the ‘creative destruction’ brought about capitalism, pointing at social interactions outside the circle of productivity as an impossible antidote to the alienation of a global metropolis in the 21st century.

Christophe Collard, ‘Refracted Remediation: Pynchon’s Brussels As Liminal Milieu’

The Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden once wrote about the capital of Belgium and Europe

that “Its formula escapes you” (Auden 1991). Much the same could equally be claimed for

the work of the enigmatic novelist Thomas Pynchon. Hence it should perhaps not altogether surprise us that Brussels would one day play a pivotal role in one of his major works. Right in the middle of Against the Day (2006) we encounter the name of Brussels as the site where a high-tech weapon will be traded between anarcho-terrorist groupuscules with potentially cataclysmic effects in all four dimensions: length, breadth, depth, and time. Indeed, in this novel Brussels serves not solely as topographical locale, but equally as liminal milieu where all of Pynchon’s countless plotlines, signifying processes, and strategies converge and subsequently diverge. Almost as if the metropolis here were appropriated and remediated as a structuring metaphor paralleling both the thematic leitmotiv of ‘double refraction’ and, more significantly, the multiple characters’ absurdly heroic adaptability in the face of the surrealist-cum-encyclopedic madness their creator hurls at them for 1000+ pages. This paper will accordingly demonstrate that, at the very least, the city here serves as meta-referential reminder of adaptive processes’ generative potential.

Zhu Jianxin, ‘Two Tales of One City: Constructing and Reconstructing a Cosmopolitan Shanghai in Crossroad (1937) and New Crossroads (2001)’

As a cosmopolitan metropolis, Shanghai has always been a favorite choice of the Chinese filmmakers to capture the impact of modernity and globalization on Chinese society. Since its establishment of a treaty port after the first Opium War in 1843, the city has often been seen a starting point for modern Chinese history. Set in the 1930s and hailed as one masterpiece of Chinese Left-wing Cinema Movement, Crossroads (1937) vividly depicts the modern urban experience in China. Despite its obvious political theme, the film creates in a realistic manner a fast-growing urban world in Shanghai where changes in transportation, communication as well as new modes of labor transform the habits of large parts of the population in terms of the way they experience and negotiate time and space. Made more than sixty years later and envisioned as a sequel to Crossroads, New Crossroads (2001) follows virtually the same storyline in which the children of the leading characters in Crossroads meet and fall in love like their parents. However, the new film elides the politically progressive aspects of the 1937 classic but capitalizes on the nostalgic imagery of Shanghai to recreate a contemporary global Chinese identity for mainland urbanites.

Mario Slugan, ‘Montage and Representation of the City in Phil Jutzi’s Adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz

In comparison with Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1980 adaptation, Phil Jutzi’s 1931 Berlin Alexanderplatz has commanded little critical attention. In good part, this is due to contemporary critics who at the time of the film’s premiere complained that the filmic quality of the novel – primarily its representation of modern Berlin by means of literary montage – had generally been lost in Jutzi’s adaptation. Ernst Jäger articulated it most succinctly: “this literary film […] remain[s] a copy of literature, an extract of a novel for cinema” (1931: 231, italics in the original). Recently, there have been some attempts to reevaluate Jutzi’s adaptation, most notably those by Peter Jelavich (2003, 2006). The strategy has, however, dominantly been to explain why montage was not used in Jutzi’s Berlin Alexanderplatz as widely as in Döblin’s novel. I, on the other hand, wish to argue for the reevaluation of the novel from the perspective of film’s innovative uses of montage itself. By focusing on the film’s two key montage sequences – tram-ride and hawking on Alexanderplatz – I argue that in representing the modern metropolis film employs both visual and sound montage which have no correlate in the corresponding passages in the novel.

Panel 5: Crime Television Drama
Yvonne Griggs, ‘Reconfiguring Urban Landscapes: the Global Spread of Nordic Noir TV’

In recent years, the phenomenon known as Nordic Noir TV has spawned global remakes on an unprecedented scale. This paper argues that the urban environments that form the backdrop to these narratives are central to their successful globalisation. The urban space that contains each narrative is adapted to its global counterpart, and it’s this geographical specificity and malleability that provides the remake with its own cultural identity - an identity that, like the recyclable format of reality TV shows, ensures its successful translation into other global markets. Remakes of Nordic Noir products often rework existing narratives: the borders between Stockholm and Copenhagen (Danish- Swedish original, The Bridge) become the borders between Texas and Chihuahua (USA remake, The Bridge), or Folkestone and Calais (Anglo-French remake, The Tunnel), and the stories replay those of their Nordic forerunner. But the global commodification of Nordic Noir narratives and their cityscapes extends beyond what we commonly term ‘remake’. The marketability of the brand has resulted in a rash of TV programmes (like Paris- based Braquo, Dublin-based Amber, or Brussels-based Salamander) that identify themselves with the Nordic Noir phenomenon, adapting its style and urban ‘cool’ image within a different cultural cityscape.

Thomas Van Parys, ‘Seeing Person of Interest through the Prism of Adaptation’

In Person of Interest (2011-), a science-fiction crime series created by Jonathan Nolan, a computer genius and a former black ops officer turn vigilante in order to prevent murders on normal (“irrelevant”) people, informed by an artificial intelligence that functions as an advanced surveillance system (“the Machine”) for the government. In order to attract as large an audience as possible, this popular TV series is typically ambivalent and hybrid on various levels – politically/ideologically and generically – which I will demonstrate by tracing its main inspirations, esp. Shane Harris’s The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State and the superhero genre (“the Man in the Suit” is clearly another Nolan adaptation of Batman). New York features as the main storyworld, exemplifying the big cities in the Western world increasingly dominated by CCTV and advanced surveillance systems that map all our movements. However, the central conceit (that through data mining nobody’s intentions are private anymore) becomes much more complex than just an example of art imitating life or vice versa, as can be illustrated through two notions which may stand for sides of the same coin in adaptation theory: familiarity (in the aftermath of 9/11 the science-fictional dimension is not experienced as dystopian anymore) and replacement (factual revelations like the PRISM program, actually incorporated into an episode as a “piece of crap”/“decoy”, or the GCHQ’s and BND’s monitoring of Belgian communications might seem superfluous as news). At the same time, Person of Interest may also symbolize the continuous attempt (emphasized by the narrative’s serialized structure) of the TV medium to represent and visualize more advanced technologies.

Vanessa Gerhards, ‘Unmasking Miami – How to Learn about City Branding with Dexter

Beautiful people in a beautiful city facing horrendous crimes: this formula seems to work well for many TV shows. They frequently show the wonderful sides of the setting – beaches, beach bodies, sunlit landscapes and vibrant cities – and then make harsh cuts to the horrible, bloody crimes which are nonetheless committed there. In my paper I will look at the TV show Dexter to argue that the combination of evil deeds with the polished surfaces of Miami reveals that the idea the audience has of the city is actually constructed by other media. The image of Miami as a vibrant, beautiful city is shown in most media, although it does not reflect reality, but is rather the construction of a certain image. To shed some light on this process, I will look at the concepts of city branding as used in marketing (Dinnie 2011) and of space (Henke 2013) and architecture (Shonfield 2003). The paper will show that Dexter only seemingly subverts the image of the beautiful city; in fact, the show cannot undermine something which does not exist in the first place. Just like Dexter Morgan himself, Miami’s public image has nothing to do with the real self.


Valerie Hazette, ‘A bridge between Bron/Broen (2011) and The Tunnel/Le Tunnel (2013):

Néo-noir dystopia in regionalised Europe?’

In the dystopian space created by the néo-noir filming of the dark spaces surrounding the brightly-engineered Öresund bridge and Channel Tunnel, adaptation can more than ever be envisaged as a mode of self-questioning and foreignisation. The trailblazing bilingual serial Bron/Broen (Nordic Noir, 2011) was re-contextualised and re-edited as The Tunnel/(Le) Tunnel (Sky Atlantic and Canal+) in 2013. Those related serials build their imaginary structures around the Ellroyan motif of a grotesquely re-assembled woman’s body, and their narrative structures around the involvement (or Mise en Abîme) of the television viewers into a story oscillating between private and public spaces, retelling and manipulation, and symbiotic-antagonistic cultures. Through the close readings of the two parallel sequences that end each serial (Season 1), this paper proposes to shed light on the relationships between adaptation and foreignisation in the context of the works of Steiner, Venuti and Berman on translation, and Genette and Gide on narratology. My main interest is to assess the degree of foreignisation of the serial makers and serial viewers alike with a particular accent on the adaptative work of director Dominik Moll and writer Ben Richards. It is argued that, while engaging with some burning issues of globalisation and regionalisation, belonging and national identity, those néo-noir crime fictions also embody a stylistic attempt at creating a patchwork of unity in a dystopian Europe.

Panel 6: The Metropolis in South Asia
Elżbieta Rokosz-Piejko, ‘Indian slum life in adaptation – the literary and the theatrical Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Kathrine Boo’s 2012 non-fiction book about the life of the inhabitants of Annawadi, a slum area enclosed by the premises of Mumabai airport and the luxurious hotels surrounding it, has gained much praise and critical attention. David Hare adapted it into a theatre play, which, directed by Rufus Norris, has been shown by National Olivier Theatre since November 2014, and has been included in the National Theatre Live project, reaching a large international audience. Hence, Kathrine Boo’s research and personal observations, which she turned into a text that “reads like a novel,” have been rendered into a dramatic form and shown on stage as the first ever National Theatre performance with an entirely South Asian cast. I would like to analyse the way in which the life of the Annawadi community, a fraction of India’s third largest metropolis, captured by Boo in a moving non-fiction account in English, got transformed into a NT play. Although the material for analysis includes mainly of Boo’s book, Hare’s play and the actual stage performance, I would like also to refer to the way in which the book’s and the NT performance’s marketing aims at authenticating the story and its setting.

Melissa Croteau, ‘Questioning Slums and Skyscrapers: Mumbai, Poverty, and Secular Identity in Q & A and Slumdog Millionaire’

In 2008, directors Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan released the acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire, their film adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005), written by Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup. The novel and film both feature an eighteen-year-old protagonist, Ram and Jamal respectively, who has grown up mainly in the slums of Mumbai but who has just won a fortune on an Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. It is a “rags-to-riches” tale in the most literal sense. However, the two versions of the story depict protagonists who have very different relationships with their urban environments and the formidable dividing lines of religion and economic status. The novel portrays a young man named Ram Mohammad Thomas, who represents the religious diversity of India and embodies a hope for a unified, secular national identity. This characterization is enhanced by the young man’s shuttling between the nation’s two largest cities—Mumbai and Delhi—while inhabiting both the most impoverished and wealthy urban neighborhoods and institutions, where the poor and rich live side-by-side. Boyle and Tandan’s adaptation of the novel condenses the character’s journey into Mumbai, predominantly, and traces the growth of the protagonist Jamal in vivid contrast to the gleaming skyscrapers as they arise in view of the monumental Dharavi slum, where Jamal’s life began. Despite Jamal’s participation in the “tiger economy” through his work as a menial assistant at a telecommunications firm, he can only be seen as a “slumdog.” Ram and Jamal both learn that changing addresses does not distance one from the “pollution” of poverty; as outcast(e)s, these men can never be purified, but in urban, globalized India, there is space to defy the socio-economic and religious systems that oppress them, though they are tortured, literally and figuratively, in the process. Ultimately, money circulated through a global multimedia culture is the vehicle of escape, but the winning of that wealth is attributed to different causes in these two texts. In Slumdog Millionaire, Jamal’s victory at the world-famous quiz show, and thus his emergence from penury, is attributed to fate: “It is written,” a phrase that opens and closes this film. Urban poverty can be transcended through auspicious fortune. In the novel, it is Ram’s agency, and particularly his commitment to fight against the abuses experienced by the poor, which lead him to his wealth. Ironically, the protagonist whose name reflects the major religions of India rejects fate or any type of spiritual intervention, reinforcing the ideal of a secular, nationalist Indian identity, a key theme in Indian popular cinema since the 1950s; while the film adaptation of the novel brilliantly depicts the globalized city of opportunity, modernity towering over traditional barriers, yet embraces transcendent, sacralized destiny as the path out of the slum.

Ana Cristina Mendes, ‘Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool: Macbeth in Mumbai’

This paper is about the intermedia and intercultural exchanges in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool (2003), a Bollywood adaptation of Macbeth; not only is it about the ‘inter’, but also about the ‘poly’, inasmuch as it is informed by Shohat and Stam’s foundational notion of ‘polycentric aesthetics’ (1998). Alongside Bhardwaj’s adaptations of Othello and Hamlet, Omkara (2006) and Haider (2014), this is the first film in Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy. Maqbool is set in the Mumbai’s criminal underworld of the 21st century, and uses Macbeth to reflect the violence of India’s urban symbol of cosmopolitan modernity. (Conversely, British TV and cinematic texts also use India in their liberating and subversive gestures of adaptation; for example, the 2011 TV adaptation of Michel Faber’s neo-Victorian novel The Crimson Petal and the White used images of 21st-century Calcutta slums as visual inspiration for neo-Victorian slumming on screen.) Through an analysis of online reception, this paper will address the dynamic cultural conditions that determine how Maqbool has been received in India and abroad, precisely in its relation to Shakespeare. Interest in the expansion of Shakespeare’s iconicity through the transcultural appropriations and remediations of his texts has generated an entire academic industry of its own. In particular, this paper will examine viewers’ and critics’ reading of Bhardwaj’s use of the Shakespearean canon for commenting on pressing social issues in contemporary India.

Rizwan Akhtar, Re-imagining Lahore as a cultural metropolis in Mira Nair’s adaptation of Mohsin’ Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007)

In Spatial Politics in Postcolonial Novel (2009) Sara Upstone argues that ‘despite various representations of horrors of industrialized city, the city has also been at the same time a space of projection’. This suggests a city dweller’s desire to remedify the city from horrors of industrial and metropolitan sprawl. In a modern metropolis its population is complicit in creating the scene of urban chaos but they are also victim of this condition. Postcolonial novel responds to this situation vehemently as it both encounters and resists colonial and western methodology and perception of appropriating a metropolitan city in accordance with western notions of industrial/capitalist/corporate values. In this paper I argue that Mira Niar’s adaptation of Mohsin’s Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) re-imagines a metropolitan ethos resisting against the introduction of a dogmatic, puritanical, and militant ways of life. The adaptation reveals configurations of secular and orthodox values competing for survival. The protagonist, Changez, in the aftermaths of 9/11 relocates to Lahore where he embraces orthodox religious ideas about West. As compared to the sourcetext of the novel which imbricates war and terrorism Nair’s adaptation shows Lahore as a vibrant and pluralistic cultural metropolis. The protagonist’s journey from a cosmopolitan New York to a metropolitan Lahore casts doubt on American liberal values. The adaptation counters the stereotypical view about Pakistan being a place harboring terrorists, parochial ideologies, and religious fanaticism. The film amplifies on the fact that the urban spaces of Pakistan are not controlled by fanatic elements however there is a visible presence of religious fundamentalism in cities like Lahore.

Panel 7: Representing/challenging the city
Stephen Morgan, ‘Can’t stand city life’:The Shiralee and Australia's urban ambivalence’

The story of a tough swagman who removes his young daughter from the city and takes her out on the open road, The Shiralee – from D’arcy Niland’s 1955 novel, to its 1957 film adaptation by Ealing Studios, and subsequent adaptation as a TV miniseries in 1987 – exists as a subtle deconstruction of a whole series of myths about Australian society and identity. Crucially, however, these micro- binaries – masculine-feminine, father-mother, individual-group, liberty-responsibility, freedom- confinement, etc. – all play out against a key macro-binary; the tension between Australia’s reality as an overwhelmingly urbanised nation, and its primary fictive identification, both at home and overseas, with the open spaces of the ‘outback’. This paper explores how each version of The Shiralee serves to subvert this urban/rural dichotomy, often presenting it as a fluid zone in which oppositional modes of identity are questioned, if not exactly overturned. An initial comparison of this divide and its effect on key characters in the novel (written by a rural Australian now living in inner-Sydney) and the 1957 film (adapted for the screen by a British director and screenwriter working for a London-based company), is followed by a similar reading of the 1987 TV adaptation, which emerged within the context of a highly revisionist, nostalgic film and television industry which always had one eye on the global marketplace. Ultimately, the transformation of an itinerant rural labourer into a caring, modern father lies at the heart of The Shiralee‘s attempts to negotiate some of the complexities of Australia’s maturing post- war identity, complexities which this paper (and my broader PhD project) seeks to explore.

Sophia Basaldua, ‘Metropolis: A Postcolonial Reading of the Global City’

This paper examines the word metropolis as a method of approaching representation of the city in relation to the globe in Jennifer Egan’s Look at Me. With its originary moment in Greek city-state/colony formation, and its use in scholarly discussions of nineteenth to twentieth-century literature and arts, as well as within postcolonial theory, metropolis as an approach to the urban planning question helps to highlight the colonial legacy of the city formation. However, unless we historicize the term, it can also serve to cover over this legacy (as it sometimes does in scholarship). The term embodies a problem that urban theorist Neil Brenner takes up, namely the problem that within urban studies the urban and city as spatial formations are assumed to be empirical facts. Likewise, in postcolonial studies the metropole is taken for granted even as it is used in multiple, under interrogated ways. By returning to the word metropolis, and tracing its use as it parallels with city and urban in Look at Me, this paper considers the ways in which urban studies and the “urban age,” the global city, and the postcolonial metropole are ripe for a postcolonial intervention.

Frans Weiser, ‘Rereading Rio de Janeiro in Rubem Fonseca’s and Walter Salles’ A Grande Arte

Director Walter Salles’ debut film, A Grande Arte (High Art, 1991), is credited with initiating the “retomada,” or revival, of Brazilian cinema that took place during the 1990s. A coproduction in English, the film is based on the 1983 book of the same name by hardboiled author Rubem Fonseca, who also wrote the film script. Fonseca’s novels and short stories, seen as controversial precisely because of their focus upon urban images of corruption, violence, and sexuality at a time when modernism and regionalism still held great sway in literary production, were banned at one point under the military dictatorship (1964-1985). It is no surprise then that Salles’ High Art, despite the director’s frequent focus on international forms of exile and displacement in his “road” films (Foreign Land, The Motorcycle Diaries, On the Road), primarily engages the tensions within a localized urban space—Rio de Janeiro—revealing a very different city from that associated with touristic images frequently exported abroad.

While the shared title suggests an adaptive relationship between the two texts, however, the film purposefully departs from its source and may be best approached through critical paradigms related to authorship and intertextuality. For example, Fonseca’s novel, based on his own experiences as part of the police force, follows private detective Mandrake as he becomes involved in a case involving an assassin who utilizes the ancient “art” of knife fighting. By contrast, Salles’ film recasts Mandrake as a North American photographer in Brazil who becomes a victim. Not only does Salles then focus upon the fragmented representation of Rio, allowing the city itself to become a central protagonist, but it also provides him a device for deconstructing the city’s stereotypical associations through the figure of a foreigner who literally discovers the city. By analyzing the distinct visual strategies that Salles employs, this presentation first reveals how two distinct urban representations emerge in the novel and film before discussing how this new understanding of the metropolis has had a lasting impact on contemporary Brazilian films, many of which revisit the same preoccupations with the inequalities of urban space.
David Forrest and Sue Vice, ‘Made in Sheffield: Adapting Barry Hines’ Novels’

In this paper, we will explore the boundary between city and countryside that is central to the filmic adaptations of Barry Hines’ novels about South Yorkshire, including his best-known work Kes (Ken Loach 1969) and Threads (Mick Jackson 1984). We will do so by focusing on two examples where this polarity is strikingly evident, and is supported by material from the Barry Hines Archive: these are The Gamekeeper (Ken Loach 1980) and Looks and Smiles (Ken Loach 1981). The early years of Thatcherite recession appear in both films in varying ways: in Looks and Smiles, its Sheffield setting is an ironic one, since the ‘steel city’ is now the location of youth unemployment and threatened redundancy. The film’s black-and-white footage, with its documentary look that is also one of art cinema, is the visual equivalent of the poetic realist style of Hines’ novel. The Gamekeeper is set on an aristocrat’s estate on the outskirts of an unnamed city, which the spectator can only take to be Sheffield, where the eponymous protagonist once worked in a steel foundry. This is an equally hybrid film in generic terms: its documentary symbolism originates in the stylized narrative voice of Hines’ fiction, while going a step further in staging the very shooting of game that constitutes the novel’s moral target. The city is thus not just a backdrop but a crucial element of these works’ concern with class, region and inequality, as the process of their adaptation reveals.

Panel 8: New York City in the frame
Julie Grossman, ‘The Other Side of the Streets: A Re/Sounding Adaptation of Silent Film’

This paper explores Charles Lane’s unique independent film Sidewalk Stories, a 1989 silent-film homage to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921). Set in what seems at first a charmed Woody Allen-inflected urban landscape, Lane’s Sidewalk Stories resonates with Chaplin’s The Kid while articulating a radically different perspective on the modern metropolis, bringing New York City’s homelessness into full view. As a result of this reorientation on Chaplin’s first-directed feature film, Sidewalk Stories shows the potential for critique embedded in appropriative revisitations of known texts and genres. Sidewalk Stories, just released on DVD in 2014 (on its 25th anniversary), revisits Chaplin’s story of the unlikely relationship forged between an abandoned child and an energetic vagabond. However, Lane’s 1989 tribute to the gestural brilliance of “The Tramp” stands alongside a searing critique of urban alienation, class division, and racism. The adaptation updates Chaplin’s comic form to engage a visceral view of racism and homelessness. The lush black-and-white photography in Sidewalk Stories, the film’s creative and variegated musical score by Marc Marder, and its magical use of improvisation don’t prepare viewers for the film’s conclusion, which turns the conventions of silent film (including Chaplin’s sentimentality) on their head while leveling a strong critique at audiences’ nostalgic consumption of the film’s conceit. In this context I will reference the wildly successful contemporary silent film The Artist [2011]). Sidewalk Stories provides a fascinating and instructive case of adaptation in its re-visioning of the city landscape, silent film, and the figure of “The Tramp” to reveal not only their heritage and influence but the streets in the shadows as well. Further, the paper will suggest the importance of adaptation as aggressively positing new perspectives on familiar material. Recasting its sources, Sidewalk Stories illustrates adaptation not as retrospective but as focused instead on change and the potentially radical rewritings of stories.

Rosella Simonari, ‘Kinetic lines, embodied perspectives: Martha Graham’s Lamentation and the City of New York’

Lamentation is a dance solo Martha Graham created and performed in New York in 1930, a few months after the Wall Street Crash. It is about the notion of grief conferred through minimal movement. Its particular aspect resides in the costume, a purple tubular-shaped dress made of jersey that de/forms the dancer’s body, highlighting the relationship between the body parts (like arms and knees) through diagonal, vertical and horizontal kinetic lines. It is an excellent example of modern dance, which reflected the changed time and values produced by the industrialization and the war. In this paper, I intend to focus on the solo as an unusual adaptation of the City of New York. If on the one hand, it is rooted in a specific historical moment of grief experienced by the city and Western civilisation, on the other hand it formally recalls the lines and perspectives of its architectural development with a particular reference to the Flatiron building. I will conclude with a reflection on a recent video adaptation of the solo (2011) set in the New York underground and danced by former Martha Graham Company principal dancer Katherine Crockett, a video that powerfully reiterates the profound connection between the solo and the city.
Eckart Voigts, ‘Recombinant Adaptations: “10 Hours Walking in NYC as a Woman” and the Role of Urban Space in Parody Remaking
The anti-street-harassment video ‘10 Hours Walking in NYC as a Woman’ was produced by Hollaback! and planted as a ‘viral video’ by Rob Bliss Creative, a marketing agency, in 2014. It serves as an example of how urban streets can be appropriated as a site of a ‘social experiment’ video (which spread virally and received almost 33 million views within a week). The paper investigates how the deluge of subsequent parody videos of this ‘walking text’ (Gleber 1999: 3) remakes and appropriates this representation of urban space, using a variety of metropolitan cities (for instance Rome, Berlin, Delhi, Mumbai or Auckland), but also expanding to virtual spaces (“Ten Hours of Walking in Battlefield 4 as a Soldier”, “10 hours walking in Skyrim as a woman in skimpy armor”). In all of these engagements with metropolitan spaces they are explored as sites of scopophilia, and various takes on the ‘joy of watching’ emerge according to divides of gender, ethnicity, politics, and culture. Key areas of investigation are thus focused and the historical and contemporary dimensions of streetwalking, flâneuring and anti-flâneuring. The paper will also discuss the politically, ethically and aesthetically transgressive potential of recombinant adaptations Considering the role of urban spaces in these recombinant adaptations and appropriations engendered by emerging digital technologies, the paper explores the political and aesthetic aspects of participatory mashups, remixes, or samplings. Is this urban culture of ‘recombinant appropriation’ even a culture, or just “buying things, spackling over memes and in-jokes repeatedly, and […] getting mad on the internet.” (Alexander 2014).

Panel 9: Dystopias
Aristotelis Nikolaidis, ‘The Dystopian Metropolis and the State of Exception: Rethinking the Politics of Adaptation in The Children of Men

This paper addresses The Children of Men as a dystopian portrayal of authoritarian politics employed in a metropolitan context at the brink of collapse. It draws upon Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of the state of exception, examines the constitution of those subjected to the extra-legal power of the state in terms of the concept of the homo sacer, and reflects upon Butler’s discussion of indefinite detention and Foucault’s theory of biopolitics. On this basis, the paper provides a comparative content and ideological analysis of P. D. James’ novel (1992) and Alfonso Cuarón’s film (2006). The paper focuses on the visual representation of the city of London in the case of the latter as the chief location of a politics of exception, and discusses the concomitant portrayals of surveillance and detention, as well as the discursive opposition between the metropolis and the countryside. It argues that the diverse ways in which the two texts represent the suspension of ordinary law are conditioned by their respective cultural contexts, and assesses the importance of references to 9/11, 7/7, and the ‘war on terror.’ In this respect, the paper reflects upon adaptation as the politically engaging potential of cultural texts to respond to their changing historical environment.

Iklim Tekin, ‘Journey of Changing Dynamics, Shaped by Fears, Anxieties, Threats of the Time, from Contemporary Sci-Fi Genre to Film Adaptations’

The camera follows the man on the street, which does not look like contemporary London but a typical Middle Eastern street. The traffic is a mess with old cars, people rush around, the air is grimy and everything appears dusty, noisy and drab. The television screen tells it’s 2027 yet it is not a kind of high-tech futuristic tale on the other hand it is exactly the world we are turning into our own hell. All of a sudden, we see the coffee shop exploding, everything is covered with dust and dirt and the scene is covered in black with white bold letters: CHILDREN OF MEN.

This paper aims to reveal the changes in the representation of London city in the dystopian film adaptation of Children of Men under the threat of globalisation and capitalism. In this research, how the portrayal of the city changes from the novel, written in 1992 by P.D. James, to the film, directed by Alfonso Cuarón in 2006 and how the city acts as a warning to our contemporary age against the devastating effects of globalisation, capitalism and plays on contemporary anxieties and fears of societies about terrorist attacks, blurring territorial borders or ecological decline, will be discussed.  
Nicholas Ruddick, ‘Constructing the Ministry of Truth: The University of London Senate House in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Its Film Adaptations’

In films adapting fiction set in the metropolis, familiar architectural icons – the Palace of Westminster, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building – serve as cinematic objective correlatives for the positive qualities of the cities in which they stand. More interestingly, certain other buildings, somehow at odds with their metropolitan environments, develop a negative "aniconic" aura useful to filmmakers adapting dystopian fiction. The University of London Senate House (architect Charles Holden, constructed 1932-37), site of this year's CAAS, is one such building. In Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) George Orwell reconstructed Senate House as the Ministry of Truth pyramid, a central and highly effective motif. I'm interested in why Senate House came to represent dystopian qualities to Orwell, and in how the real building was "translated" by him, then remediated in film adaptations of his novel. The importance of imaginative translation/transformation in adaptation can be seen clearly when it is lacking, e.g., because of excessive deference to a source. In John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids (1951), for example, an unreconstructed Senate House appears in scenes peculiarly insensitive to the building's aniconicism. It's no coincidence that the BBC 1981 adaptation of Triffids, depicting Senate House as itself, faithfully reproduces all the weaknesses of the novel.  

Elena Nistor, ‘From Minitrue to War Office: Senate House and Shades of Authority in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), Richard III (1995) and Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang

This paper aims to trace the evolution of the cinematic symbolism related to the Senate House of the University of London in three of the most representative films that have featured the emblematic edifice over the past few decades. Although it retains a certain bleak streak, the image of the imposing building develops in time from the grim site of ultimate control in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) to the opulent locus of intricate plots in Richard III (1995) and, further on in the new Millennium, to the austere location of omnipotence turned somewhat benevolent in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010). The three films provide an illustration of setting included in the story, with the location becoming a character in itself: a labyrinthine space that inspires fright and insecurity derived from captivity and stagnation; a place where light and shadow allude to tyranny, devious conspiracy and insidious terror; and a power structure inspiring anxiety and unease ultimately turned into generous hope and promise.

Panel 10: Fantasy & lives reimagined
Ashley Polasek, ‘Mr. Holmes and the Fictional Biopic: Creating Biography through Adaptation’

Although the central core of the biopic is “the life of a historical person, past or present” (Custen), films in the genre have much more in common than the seed of true biography. Biopics often share a language of verisimilitude, a valuation of accuracy, an attempt to reform the public’s misconceptions, and a thematic obsession with fame. They are frequently used as star vehicles, as the story of a “Great Man in the making” is rendered by a great actor. Inevitably, such films represent a patchwork of fact and fiction, and the appropriation of the biopic’s genric qualities is not uncommon in fiction films. However, when a mythic figure like Sherlock Holmes, who has already, as Michael Saler argues, moved beyond traditional fictionality into “a sustained virtual world transcending any particular text or reader,” is presented in this context, it becomes possible to make an argument for a subcategory of “fictional biopics”. The soon-to-be-released film Mr. Holmes is adapted from Mitch Cullin’s 2005 A Slight Trick of the Mind. The book tells the story of a 93-year-old Holmes suffering from the onset of dementia and is notable for asserting a kind of veracity by establishing the characters as knowing audiences of the “fictional” versions of themselves presented in the stories written by Conan Doyle and the many film adaptations made up through the post-WWII setting of the novel. This pretense to biography along with an appropriation of genric qualities of the biopic, is incorporated into Mr. Holmes, which, in the tradition of biopics, pairs a well-known actor, Sir Ian McKellen, with a complex and challenging role. This paper will argue that despite the fiction at its core, Mr. Holmes is most fruitfully read as a biopic. It will incorporate material from original interviews with both Mitch Cullin and Ian McKellen.

Natalie Hayton, ‘Historical (Dis)enchantments: fairy tale kingdoms and domestic fantasy in three novels by Philippa Gregory’

Alongside a rise in the number of literary and cinematic adaptations of the fairy tale in recent years, the early 21st century has also seen an increase in the popularity of historical fiction. While readers of historical fiction are required to engage with a more specific ‘once upon a time’, familiar fairy tale tropes of the persecuted heroine, female rivalry, and the rescuing hero abound. Philippa Gregory is both celebrated and derided for her fictional retellings of historical events through the eyes of lesser-known female figures, such as Jacquetta Woodville in The Lady of the Rivers (2011), Mary Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl (2001), and Margaret Pole in The King’s Curse (2014). In these three novels, the fairy tale is appropriated seemingly with the intention of challenging and/or subverting its acculturating patriarchal schema as these heroines reject royal marriages, wealth, and titles to follow their own desires. However, in choosing a life away from the cultural centre, is a more contemporary ‘fairy tale’, regarding place and identity, being promoted? As the dangers and corruptions of the city become synonymous with the royal court, and the threat of the mob signifies that the urban space is no place for a woman, these heroines flee to country estates, reflecting the postfeminist retreatist fantasy where domestic simplicity is valorised.

Cassandra Brummitt, ‘Paratexts of Harry Potter: the significance of adaptive spaces’

This paper uses adaptations in the Harry Potter franchise to demonstrate the ways in which paratexts, often regarded as ‘ancillary materials’, function as texts in their own right, and to consider how these crucial franchise elements possess adaptive properties and possibilities beyond their current value within academia. Of particular focus will be two entertainment attractions, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Florida, US) and The Warner Bros. Studio Tour (Watford, UK). 
Media convergence, globalisation and developments in digital technology have led to dramatic changes in the landscape of popular contemporary adaptation, with the rise of multibillion-dollar franchises spawning adaptations across a range of media and spaces. Adaptive spaces within the Harry Potter franchise such as the Wizarding World and the Studio Tour function as paratexts to promote the movies (the perceived ‘central’ text); these spaces, however, are most significant for the opportunities they provide for world-building, meaning-making and audience interaction, resulting in visitors’ consumption of the imagined universe in forms beyond those encouraged by the film texts. 
This complicates the notion of paratexts as subservient to the ‘original’ text, and provokes questions about the relevance of searching for an ‘original’ text at all in our postmodern transmedial world.

Dana Vasiliu, ‘It is time to be Sherlock Holmes’: Constructing and Performing Identities in the 21st Century Metropolis’

Ever since he made his first appearance on the big screen around the beginning of the 20th century, Sherlock Holmes has been deemed the most ‘adaptable’ yet unchanging character of all time. The most recent BBC series Sherlock testify to his versatility and knack for constructing identity and unmasking twisted minds. As Conan Doyle himself knew, such a character could only perform and thrive in the hustle and bustle of the metropolis where the game was always afoot. To the postmodern mind, as both the urban cartography and the socio-political geography have changed, it was a New Metropolis, a digitized urban milieu where the New Sherlock could stage and review his blogged performances. Hence, drawing from Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical approach to social behaviour (The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life) and Robert Park’s studies on urban sociology (The City) I aim to look into the role/roles played by the New Metropolis in staging and nurturing human identity as portrayed in the 21st century BBC adaptations Sherlock.

Panel 11: Subverting Genre
Sarah Penger, ‘The Recreation of the Gangster Genre across Media within a Serial Storyworld’

“Genres are not the real world, but a game that we play with moves and players borrowed from

the real world.” (Altman 1999:157) The paper is about the adaptation of the gangster genre on the serial television screen through transmedia and transcultural influences using the example of the German mini series IM ANGESICHT DES VERBRECHENS/ IN THE FACE OF CRIME (D, 2010). The aim of the paper is to reveal traversing narratives of the gangster genre on the German television screen as well as dominant cultural storylines in a comparative view. Regarding transnational media culture environments, the study also focuses on the presentation of metropolis’ and

transcultural identities on-screen. In this age, there are important cultural transformations that are taking place as media convergence (Jenkins 2006). Thus, different media cause different forms of storytelling, as Ryan (2004, pp. 356) posits: „Each medium has particular affinities for certain themes and certain types of plot: you cannot tell the same type of story on the stage and in writing, during conversation and in thousand page novel, in a two-hour movie and in a TV serial that runs for many years“. Ryan (2007) argues that a story is not tied to any particular medium because a story is a mental representation. A narrative should therefore work for different media. So, if a narrative is not tied to a specific medium, what about genres? In terms of genre theory, Mittell (2001) posits, film genre theory cannot be adopted for television genre theory. Therefore, genre analyses should account for the particular attributes of the medium. What impacts have these developments had on the concept of the gangster genre? How is then the transition from the American gangster film genre to a German gangster television mini series? How do the narrative modes differ between the cinema and television screen? What is the ability of the cinematic gangster genre to tell a story on the television screen? Therefore, my study interrogates cinema's relationship with television as well as the notion of transcultural identities and the presentation of the transcultural metropolis Berlin on-screen using the example of the German mini series Im Angesicht des Verbrechens (In the Face of Crime) (2010). The current state of research unfolds a lack in the field of German gangster genre theory regarding comparative transcultural and transmedial aesthetic analyses of serial texts. To analyse the narrative changes of serial storytelling and the different concepts of the gangster genre two perspectives are of relevance: genre & serial television and genre & national/ cultural background. Furthermore the relevant question is, if the gangster genre in particular is a suitable genre for transcultural environments – because according to Altman: „Genres are not the real world, but a game that we play with moves and players borrowed from the real world“ (Altman 1999:157).

Carolyn Rickards, ‘‘Curiouser Indeed’: Alice in Wonderland as Brit Gangland Crime Flick’’

This paper considers the influence of the urban on recent adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s classic fantasy novel, Alice in Wonderland. The re-appropriation of the rural countryside idyll to modern cityscape is explored with specific reference to the recent British film Malice in Wonderland (Simon Fellows, 2010). I examine how the film adaptation provides a unique re-imagining of landscapes, characters and motifs associated with the original novel within the urban grime and decay of contemporary Britain. I argue that this aesthetic collision of British crime drama and fantastical escapism had a profound impact on the film’s reception and overall success. This paper analyses critical response to the film and the negative reaction generated towards the ‘truly bizarre’ (The Times, 2010; The Independent, 2010) ‘abomination’ of Carroll’s ‘masterpiece’ (Daily Mail, 2010). I propose that this critical opinion of Malice in Wonderland was grounded in more general media response towards popular adaptations which are often framed as ‘secondary and derivative’ (Hutcheon, 2006; Stam, 2005). However, I contend that such intense press criticism was also provoked by the perceived negative representations of urbanised ‘Britishness’ as depicted in the film.
Martin Regal, ‘Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: A Tale of Two Cities’

Originally conceived in the early 1990s by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry as an urban fantasy series set among London's homeless community, Neverwhere has since been through countless editions and undergone a large and varied number of remediations. These include Gaiman’s novelisation of the 1996 BBC six-part television series, his expansion and extensive revision of the same published in 2005 as “the author’s preferred text,” two radically different audio dramatisations (1996 and 2013), various stage adaptations (among which are several musicals) and a graphic novel (2007). While Neverwhere is by no means unique with regard to the number and type of media it has inhabited, there is a good case to be made for Neil Gaiman’s having resisted finalising its form, allowing it instead to remain in a state of flux. Central to the work are two locations, London Above and London Below, the former being the ostensibly real London of the early 1990s and the latter its subterranean counterpart, a fantasy world either located in various London underground stations and/or populated by personifications of the same or other known landmarks (the Old Bailey, the Angel Islington, Blackfriars etc.). Combining two worlds and incorporating elements from several epochs, Neverwhere plays on the idea of London as text and subtext, steeped in its own anachronisms.

Yelda Özkoçak, ‘Turkeywood “Films are omitted”

Films that are dependent on technology, especially the excessive use of technology from the 1970s were so unique creations. Although it seems like the world is basically the same situation in Turkey contains some significant differences with examples. Turkish Cinema was wanting to make gain of films because of the filmmakers from producing too exhausted to want to earn money without investment, has chosen to copy rather than original. The early years, Turkish Cinema was affected the theater such as world but after a while it was influenced by the universal acclaimed films. When the films are evaluated in the context of his contemporaries in the world, these films are described “trash”. These films, called “Turkeywood”, sometimes only the stories inspired by the originals of some of these films were also copied exactly scenes took place in Turkey. Nowadays, followed with admiration abroad, film schools and courses taught in America. Within this context, it will be tried to explain that in fact these films were not considered in. The work is aimed the comparison and also listed Turkeywood movies. These films will be evaluated in terms of time and they use cultural / local codes will be examined.

Panel 12: Comic book Superheroes
José Duarte, ‘Everything becomes chaos – Gotham as vision of the contemporary city’

Although DC, responsible for publishing Batman’s comics, claims that Gotham is not New York, it is very difficult to separate one from the other. As William Uricchio notes (2010: 121), “[Gotham] remains a widely used sobriquet for New York City”. Its representation, both in comics as in cinema, reflects the predicaments of our time. In this sense, Gotham is “…both a simulacrum of New York City and a broader, more abstract representation of America itself” (Gilmore, 2013).

Christopher Nolan’s Batman adaptation (2005, 2008, 2012) places the origins of Batman in the aftermath of 9/11, presenting it as the territory where our expectations and fears are explored. As such, we are invited to look at a space that reflects upon the social, cultural and economic changes of the contemporary metropolis. The aim of this paper is to look at the way Nolan’s trilogy mirrors the anxiety and fear expressed in today’s urban society. In order to explore these issues, I will briefly discuss the three films, with greater emphasis on the last installment, The Dark Knight Rises (2012), where the modern metropolis echoes the changes occurring in the contemporary urban landscape.
Anna Blackwell, ‘Saving the day? The American superhero film adaptation and the city’

The early years of the noughties with the events of 9/11, 2001, saw an unprecedented attack on the United States’ self-image as an exceptional, unassailable global power. The effects of this challenge on America’s cultural imaginary were widespread, not only seen in the subsequent foreign and domestic policies of the administration’s ‘War on Terror’, but in cinemas nationwide and globally. The first of the continuing wave of comic book film adaptations during this period presented audiences with images of the American city as intensely vulnerable to attack, destruction and invasion. In the superhero blockbuster the metropolis appeared as a dystopian space, filled with corruption and violence, but – though wounded – still capable of expressing America’s moral authority. The much replicated and highly indicative images of the genre cast the superhero sentinel-like above the skyline: invested in protecting and upholding the moral values of a society which has so obviously failed in its ethical and judicial guardianship, while circumventing legality. 14 years after September the 11th and six years into Barack Obama’s democrat presidency, however, this paper proposes to re-examine the comic book adaptation. Through recent blockbuster examples such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Netflix original series, Daredevil, I will analyse the potent symbolism and politics of the American superhero and their relationship to the city, at home and abroad.

James Taylor, ‘“Superheroes in New York? Give Me a Break”: Representing Urban Experience in Superhero Blockbusters’

Superhero comic books emerged in the 1930s as a product of modernity, their creators living in New York and representing urban experience in stories of fantastic heroes patrolling cities. Superheroes’ liberated movements around cities can be read as celebrating the individual freedoms promised by the metropolis. This paper explores ways in which superhero blockbusters adapt these concerns in scenes of cinematic spectacle as superheroes leap, swing and fly through urban environments. I analyse three films to explore how developments in Hollywood filmmaking have shaped superhero cinema’s uses of cityscapes, while outlining ways in which these relate to strategies used in comic books. My analysis of Superman (1978) uses Scott Bukatman’s conceptualisation of kaleidoscopic perception, in which modernity is experienced though ‘a combination of delirium, kinesis and immersion’ (2003: 3), to demonstrate that the various trajectories and rotations present as Superman soars toward the camera express a giddy experience of urban life. Trajectories of movement are multiplied in Spider-Man (2002) through digital effects, as Spider-Man’s body and New York become composites of pro-filmic and digital elements, evoking new kinds of mobility enabled by digital media. Finally, The Avengers (2012) certifies the franchise’s shared cinematic universe through using New York as the site where superheroes from different films gel as a team, suggesting the metropolis’ potential to unite people from different backgrounds.

Panel 13: Penny Dreadful
Chris Louttit, ‘Victorian London Redux: Adapting the Gothic Metropolis’

The dangerous, foggy streets of Victorian London have long been a familiar ingredient of a certain type of horror cinema. This stereotypical Gothic image of London stretches from Hollywood productions of the 1930s and 1940s, through Hammer’s offerings of the 1960s and 1970s, right up to the present day. As Peter Hutchings has noted, these filmic responses to the Victorian city are ‘distinctly international’ in ‘character’ and ‘extremely vague about the actual geography of London’. The tradition is continued in the reimagining of Victorian London central to two recent high-profile television adaptations, NBC’s Dracula (2013) and Showtime’s Penny Dreadful (2014). My paper argues that both productions avoid careful reconstruction of ‘the actual geography’ of nineteenth-century London, choosing instead to adapt and reinvent the Victorian Gothic image of the city. Dracula and Penny Dreadful’s stylised and self-conscious approaches to their Victorian London settings reflect, on one level, the playfully anarchic response of these adaptations to their literary source texts. Both series also prompt us to consider what is at stake in depicting again a much-represented city, and how such a process might be related to ideas about adaptation more broadly.

Dragoş Manea, ‘An American Vampire in London: Remediating the Victorian Metropolis in Dracula (NBC/Sky Living, 2013-2014) and Penny Dreadful (Showtime/Sky Atlantic, 2014–)’

Dracula (NBC/Sky Living, 2013-2014) and Penny Dreadful (Showtime/Sky Atlantic, 2014–) are two recent reimaginings of Victorian literary classics that pose relevant questions with regard to adaptation, remediation and Anglo-American cultural memory. While Dracula adapts Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, transforming its eponymous count into an anti-heroic Vlad the Impaler, who arrives in London posing as an American entrepreneur/playboy in order to thwart the evil Order of the Dragon, Penny Dreadful offers viewers a mélange of classic 19th century gothic novels—particularly Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Dracula—in the style of Moore and O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999–). In Ethan Chandler (an American sharpshooter and werewolf), Penny Dreadful locates one POV character through which Victorian London is rendered at once recognizable and markedly strange. What sets the two series apart from previous adaptations and what to a certain extent grounds my interest in them is precisely their focus on American(-like) characters as focalizers through which London and Victorian society as a whole are represented to contemporary audiences. In conversation with critics such as Andrew Elliot, Iris Kleinecke-Bates and Astrid Erll, I read Dracula and Penny Dreadful as part of a larger shift in post-national historical fiction/fantasy towards an Anglo-Americanism that is not reducible to production and reception, but that is also present at the level of plot—while paying full attention to the ways in which the two series function as remediations of the novels and of Anglo-American cultural memory.

Sinan Akıllı & Seda Öz, ‘“No More Let Life Divide...”: Victorian Metropolitan Confluence in Penny Dreadful

With reference to what he describes as “a show with . . . literal monsters and figurative monsters,” John Logan, the screenwriter and producer of the Victorian pastiche Gothic horror TV series Penny Dreadful, creates a confluent urban diegetic world which is characterized by the merging of dualities. Bringing together characters from well-known works of Victorian Gothic fiction such as Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, and through the references by these characters to the poetry of dark Romantics such as Shelley and Blake, the show provides a retrospective vision of the dark aspects of the urbanization of Victorian London. In the show, the painfully metamorphosing metropolis is not only the setting, but also a character, if not the protagonist whose other name is Demimonde, “a place in the shadows. [r]arely seen but deeply felt.” In other words, London/Demimonde is a place between life and death that represents the meeting of the elite quarters of London with the terrifying realities of the East End and Shad Thames docklands, a meeting which is repeatedly suggested by way of juxtaposition through the view of the half-constructed Tower Bridge as it would have been seen from the Docklands area. At the metaphorical level, London is also the confluence of the spiritual perils and horrors of these alienated urban characters, each with dual personalities. With reference to London’s representation in Penny Dreadful as such, this paper will explore the shaky ground of London/Demimonde that creates a duality in almost every other element of the show, including the characters, the representation of the city and society, and the adaptation and convergence of Victorian literary works in one single world that is paradoxically characterized by stark contrasts and dualities.

Lauren Rocha, ‘Angel in the House, Devil in the City: Explorations of Gender in Dracula and “Penny Dreadful”’

Season One of the television series “Penny Dreadful” showcases a Victorian London where classic monsters are reimagined as part of mainstream society. Much of Season One’s plot centers around an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, complete with a story ark involving a group of mostly men attempting to save Mina Murray from the clutches of a vampire master. At the end of Dracula, the men are able to save Mina from Dracula’s evil influence and she is restored to a state of purity with the men as her saviors; however, in “Penny Dreadful,” Mina and the female characters of the show remain unsaved, fallen and unable to be rescued by the men. My paper focuses on “Penny Dreadful” and the failed restoration of the gender order of Dracula’s London society as in “Penny Dreadful,” the men are never fully able to protect the female characters or themselves. I specifically highlight the ways in which the show’s adaptation of Victorian London highlights deeper issues of gender by way of the monstrous characters, arguing that by allowing for the main characters to be urban monsters, the show provides a non-human lens to examine societal constructs of gender in relation to selfhood.

Panel 14: The Screenplay
Laura Fryer, ‘Absorbing the world of others: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s adapted screenplays and presentations of cities’

The novelist and Merchant Ivory screenwriter, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927-2013), is a revealing subject for adaptations and the metropolis. After she and her family left Nazi Germany in 1938, Jhabvala went on to live in three international cities: London, Delhi and New York. She spoke of herself as a “perennial refugee” and consequently of being able to “absorb the world of others” and reproduce it in her writing. Through her numerous screenplays it is possible to trace her attitudes towards the cities she lived in and the cities of others’ stories which she adapted. Particularly as she wrote for a production company renowned for its adaptations, many of Jhabvala’s screenplays are exemplary of the transitional stages in adapting. Screenplay study is relatively young in academia but it has much to offer adaptation studies as critics like Boozer, Murray and Elliott point out. This paper utilises screenplay studies in analysis of Jhabvala’s adaptations and exploration of her changing representations of the metropolis.

Kyle Meikle, ‘The Illustrated Screenplay’

If scholars have long regarded screenplays as “rough sketches” or “‘blueprint[s],’” “incomplete” or “transitional,” “somehow inferior” to the “more concrete final ‘text’ of the film” (as Ian Macdonald argues in the Journal of Screenwriting’s 2010 inaugural issue), then the study of adaptation challenges such accounts by imagining every text as a potential rough sketch or blueprint. This paper furthers that challenge by bringing the overlooked genre of the illustrated screenplay to the fore. Illustrated screenplays, which incorporate drawings, stills and other images alongside the film script itself, account for an overwhelming percentage of published screenplays, making their neglect in media studies all the more surprising. Drawing on texts ranging from Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960) to Truman Capote’s Trilogy: An Experiment in Multimedia (1969) to Terminator 2: Judgment Day – The Book of the Film: An Illustrated Screenplay (1991) and Julie Taymor’s Titus: An Illustrated Screenplay (2000), the paper discusses how illustrated screenplays serve as adaptations, archives, novelizations, picture books, storybooks, storyboards, scripts and transcripts in and of themselves. Illustrated screenplays, published after the fact of the film, demolish the walls that we tend to erect between discrete genres, texts and media—between blueprints, construction sites and finished buildings.

Jonathan Ogilvie, ‘The Secret Agent as Lone Wolf: Adapting Joseph Conrad’s novel as a Cineveillance screenplay’

“A blood-stained inanity”. This is Joseph Conrad’s description of the failed terrorist plot on which he based his 1908 novel, The Secret Agent. Drawing on Timothy Corrigan’s discussion on transposing literature to new media and context, my presentation will outline the process of adapting Conrad’s novel as a contemporary screenplay, entitled Lone Wolf. Described by Matthew Paul Carlson as the inspiration for ‘public uneasiness’, The Secret Agent has obvious parallels with present day urban terrorism, counterterrorist measures and, most pertinently for my adaptation, surveillance. A century prior to London becoming the most CCTV dense city in the world the characters of The Secret Agent are continually under the vigilant eye of Scotland Yard’s finest. And yet, despite preventative police monitoring, the bomb plot is not foiled. This is the detail that particularly lends the novel to a ‘cineveillance’ screen adaptation. Lone Wolf will consist wholly of surveillance footage purportedly seized and/or obtained by the police in investigation of the bombing. The variable sources of this footage - security cameras, computer interfacing, mobile phones- will highlight the liquidity between surveillance of control and, seemingly benign, peer-to-peer surveillance. A ‘cineveillant’ interpretation of a novel that Thomas Leitch has dubbed more cinematic than Hitchcock’s 1936 screen version.

Panel 15: Games, Cities, Globalisation
Johannes Fehrle, ‘The Post-Apocalyptic City as Jungle in SpecOps: The Line’

The first person shooter SpecOps: The Line (2012) is an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979). Rather than retelling the journey up a river into a supposedly primitive jungle, the game casts a Dubai destroyed by sand storms as an updated setting for its protagonist’s descent into madness. Dubai, as a Westernized Middle Eastern city strongly associated with a 21st century global modernity, actualizes a text which has always been about Western interpretations of moments of global contact and crisis – be it in Conrad’s treatment of a turn of the century imperialism or Coppola’s 1970s indictment of the Vietnam War. The game’s stark visuals combine images of what looks like bombed-out sky scrapers that could be part of any major metropolitan city with the threatening natural environment of an all-devouring desert, and occasional enemy Others. It thus allows for a reading which actualizes a narrative that, according to Edward Said, “leaves us with the impression that there is no way out of the sovereign historical force of imperialism” for a new time, a new generation and a new medium, negotiating Western societies’ anxieties about their own place within the rapidly shifting power centers of a globalized modernity.

Nico Dicecco, ‘Adaptive Play: Scott Pilgrim and the Pleasures of a Violent City’

As an adaptation of both a film and a graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game is notable both for its depiction of Toronto as an urban space and for its use of media that are under-represented in adaptation studies. The portrayal of Toronto landmarks like Honest Ed’s department store and Sneaky Dee’s restaurant trade on familiarity with the city’s history and subcultures in much the same way that adaptations frequently depend on familiarity with the details of an adapted text; both gain cultural force by triggering what Linda Hutcheon calls the “oscillation” of the “knowing audience.” Moreover, the genre of the Scott Pilgrim game – a “brawler” – substantially nuances its play with urban landmarks as sites of dense subcultural signification. Since brawlers tend to fixate on movement through cities as spaces of violent encounter, the game offers players a chance to explore tactics of subversion through the virtual destruction of Toronto streets. In my paper, I explore the pleasures of this “violent” play insofar as they intersect with the central pleasures of adaptive oscillation. I ask: in what ways does the game’s challenge to sanctioned uses of urban space help to uncover the subversive potential embedded in intertextual dynamics more generally?

Andrei Nae, ‘The Town as a Reflexive Hybrid Entity in the Silent Hill Storyworld’

According to David Herman, making sense of narratives implies distinguishing between personal and non-personal entities. Based on this distinction we regard the events either as a consequences of the entity’s intention in former case, or we account for it by means of cause and effect in the latter case. In the first three Silent Hill video games, the eponymous ghost town finds itself in a grey area between these two categories. The town seems either to act according to a will of its own, which would trigger a reading strategy based on models of person, or to be passive to the actions of other entities in the storyworld, thus acting as a mere object. What seems to tip the balance in favour of the personal is the fact that the town symbolically represents the main character’s traumas and desires.

However, in the film adaptation of the first three Silent Hill games, the town seems to lean towards the non-personal. In Christophe Gans’ Silent Hill (2006) the town continues to parallel the main character’s emotional state, yet human qualities such as intention and reason are downplayed.

In order to analyse Silent Hill in the video games and in their filmic adaptation, I shall rely on cognitive narratology, adaptation studies, and transmedia storytelling.

Panel 16: Adapting City Landscapes
Hila Shachar, ‘‘You’re my playground love’: The Present and Absent City in Ana Kokkinos’s Head On (1998) and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999)’

The sounds and aesthetic of the city haunt the teenage characters in Ana Kokkinos’s Head On (an adaptation of Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas) and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (an adaptation of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides). In Head On (1998), the music that the protagonist, Ari, listens to on his walkman combines with the sounds and visual aesthetic of the Australian city of Melbourne as the viewer follows his frustration in locating a place of belonging as the son of Greek migrants and a homosexual man in a dominant heterosexual culture. In The Virgin Suicides (1999), the dreamy teenage music of the 1970s which the Lisbon sisters listen to is haunted by the distanced presence of the city beyond the enclosure of the American suburbs of Detroit, interrogating an American identity formed through the hegemony and conformity of the white suburban landscape. This paper examines these films as explorations of city landscapes – whether direct or indirect – to suggest that they ‘speak’ to each other about central questions of identity for their teenage protagonists and their cultures. Both films are adaptations of male-authored works by female directors who extend on the latent critique evident within the novels they adapt through both a gendered perspective and an awareness of the sensory and visual possibilities of the medium of film. I argue that the dialogue between novel and film, written narrative perspective and sensory/auditory/visual meaning, compels an audience experience that delves into the heart of Australian and American identities through the present and absent space of the city.

Željko Uvanović, ‘The reflection of Zagreb’s exteriors and interiors as well as of centre and periphery of the urban life as seen in selected adaptations of Croatian literature’

The paper deals with the Croatian capital of Zagreb being remediated from the literary works of authors like Miroslav Krleža (dramas The Glembays and In Agony), Mirjam Tušek (novel I Have Two Mums and Two Dads), Zvonimir Majdak (novel Got it, my friend?), Pavao Pavličić (novel The Good Spirit of Zagreb, adapted as The Rhythm of Crime), Dubravka Ugrešić (novel Štefica Cvek in the Jaws of Life), Nino Škrabe (play Blue Christmas adapted as Don’t Forget Me / Fergismajniht) and Ivo Balenović (novel Metastases) into relatively successful film adaptations by famous Croatian film directors like Antun Vrdoljak, Zoran Tadić, Krešo Golik, Rajko Grlić, Vanča Kljaković, Jakov Sedlar and Branko Schmidt. The paper focuses both on visual presentations of urban exteriors and interiors (along with costume designs of inhabitants of Zagreb) and on visualisation of social stratification (centre vs. periphery; elite – middle class – the underprivileged). The aim is to analyse and interpret differences in the directors’ styles, attitudes and implemented film techniques as well to determine the changes in the image of Zagreb against the background of the historical settings of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Tito’s Yugoslavia and the (post)modern-day Croatia.

Matthew Richardson,Marooned in the future-present: A speculative adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s ‘Concrete Island’ using Google Street View’

In 1974 J.G. Ballard wrote ‘Concrete Island’, an adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robin Crusoe’. In Ballard’s allegory, the edge of the city is the location for a cautionary tale of the loss of identity through technological progress. Maitland, the main protagonist, crashes and is marooned beside the M4 in a literal and symbolic non-space. He confronts his best and worst motives to survive.

My practice-based research investigates the relationship between word & image, fact & fiction, and this paper describes recent audio-visual work that proposes Google Street View as form and space to locate ‘Concrete Island’ both physically and metaphorically. Automated data mapping used in Street View might appear to ameliorate against imaginative use. I argue that Street View’s mis-connected spaces, its sense of individualised experience and continuous narrative time provide ideal ‘Ballardian’ architecture for a contemporary retelling of this ‘future-present’ myth. I consider Ballard’s mid-1970s conceptualization of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ space’ and his view of an increasingly ‘fictionalised’ world and how these might be mapped today. The speculative form of this adaptation exists somewhere between book, animation and film, with ‘SatNav’ narration provided by text-speech software. An excerpt of the adaptation will be shown as part of the presentation.
Christopher Thornton, ‘Artistic License: Exploring the Limits’

The topic I will address is the nagging question of in what manner, and under what circumstances, allegiance to an original story may be, shall we easy, “modified.” I find this very intriguing because there are simply no easy answers, and the question will be with us as long as we adapt stories into film—in other words, forever. I will use examples from historical dramas, works of fiction and nonfiction, and true events that have become the basis of cinematic story lines. The aim will be to illustrate some of the tricky questions that will forever be the concern of the screenwriter in terms of characterization, scene construction, plot development, and more. Another point that shouldn’t be overlooked is that almost all films are “adaptations”—loosely defined. Even if a story never previously appeared in any form of media—book, magazine, stage play, news report, etc.—it did exist in real life or past history, and therefore the task of the screenwriter is the same—to render the story into effective cinematic form. On the matter of urbanization and globalization, a few other points will be addressed. A few years ago, for the first time in human history, the world saw more people living in cities than rural areas. For cinematic storytelling, this means that cities will increasingly become the focus of human dramas, and we can expect to see more movies reflect global social and political issues.

Panel 17: Theorising the Metropolis
Casie Hermansson, ‘Ungrammaticality and the Uncanny in Adaptation’

I propose to analyze the Freudian uncanny (das unheimlich, the un-home-like) in film adaptations of literature. The uncanny embeds metaphors of the disorienting city in Freud’s own descriptive definition (the winding canal streets of Venice), in symbolic notions of “home”, and the return of the repressed. I aim to apply these ideas in combination to adaptation’s “uncanny” doubleness, linking it with the palimpsest (both returning and repressed in screen adaptations of literature), and with intertextual labyrinths. I also hope to elaborate on the Michael Riffaterre’s intertextual theory of the ‘ungrammaticality’ which I raised in the 2014 conference presentation to explore its usefulness in this context. Riffaterre postulated that an intertextual text contained ‘ungrammaticalities’ which function as detours or indexes (pointers) to indicate that something should be recuperated from elsewhere (the intertext. The theory situated intertextuality in the text rather than relying on the reader’s knowledge of the intertext, attempting to answer the question: if the reader doesn’t see it, is it still intertextual? I believe that an exploration of the ‘ungrammaticality’ in film adaptations (such as the book on film, the subject of my research) functions in a similar way and may result in a form of the uncanny. I will use research on the Freudian uncanny and the city, Michael Riffaterre’s work on ungrammaticality in intertextuality, on the uncanny in media, spectator studies, and select film stills.

Marcus Nicholls, ‘Adaptation as Mourning: Correspondences Between Modern Adaptation Theory and Themes of Object Loss and Mourning in George Rodenbachʼs Bruges-la-Morte and Le Carillonneur

This paper seeks analogies. Traversing the grief-drenched Bruges of Rodenbach, where each canal mirrors the medieval spires, now inverted, that rake the ashen skies, in this study these books are the canals in which we might see new perspectives. In a vein of theory-as-practice, the discourses of Adaptation Studies will themselves be adapted to the Symbolist aesthetic, searching for aspects of adaptation in the texts of Rodenbach and their attendant photographic illustrations by Khnopff. In viewing the Symbolist mirror through the lens of Adaptation Studies, we will observe the reflected, perhaps distorted, image of that lens as it is thrown back, building on established ideas within adaptation theory of the efficacy of reading the processes of adaptation via interdisciplinary (or in this case, atemporal) analogies. Through an investigation into the Symbolist metaphysical universe, focussing particularly upon Rodenbachʼs adaptation of Bruges-the-real into Bruges-the-dead, this paper frames a discussion of adaptation as a process of mourning, a ritualised evocation of loss where the absent is reconfigured, sublimated into form while evoking an esoteric double in its aspect as a realised analogy. In a dissection of Rodenbachʼs treatment of repetition, doubling, mise en scene, synecdoches and subjectivity, all crowded within an Expressionist treatment of the haunted modern city built upon a bedrock of Baudelaireʼs correspondences, I hope to show that Adaptation Studies can shed new light on past literature, whilst simultaneously rethinking itself.

Robert Geal, ‘From Barthesian and Bakhtinian to Benvenistene authorship’
In the politically and ethically laudable attempt to displace the hegemonic primacy of textual origins Barthesian and Bakhtinian adaptation studies paradoxically contribute to realist cinema’s ideological attempt to disavow its own status as a construction. By so doing they contribute to the field’s lingering reliance on fidelity as a critical criterion. This paper suggests, instead, the appropriation of Benveniste’s conception of authorship to recontextualise adaptation’s foregrounding of its constructed nature. The Benvenistene analysis can look for ways in which the revelation of authorial enunciation, a potential challenge to realist cinema’s seamless grammar, is suppressed within conventionalised cinematic techniques. It understands the pleasures of adaptation as less concerned with connoisseurship or dialogics, and more related to the ideological masochism of realist film’s oscillation between revealed and concealed enunciative modes which offer glimpses of the medium’s artifice before cathartically suturing over the disruption into seamless, ostensibly un-authored verisimilitude. Adaptation studies, moreover, legitimate this ideological illusion by interpreting it within contexts which offer explanations based on the relations between source text and adaptation, rather than on how adaptation manipulates authorship to raise and subsequently subsume the revelation of artifice. For the Bakhtinian critic this means replacing unknowable authorial intent with an investigation of how adaptation reaccentuates meaning, thereby unwittingly contributing to realist cinema’s ideological manipulation of adaptation’s textual origins.
Thomas Leitch, ‘Mind the Gaps’

Every story ever told must omit certain details for reasons of economy (even Les misérables eventually comes to an end) or effectiveness (witness the climactic elisions in Poe’s “Berenice” and “The Assignation”). Wolfgang Iser called these programmatic omissions “gaps” and ruled that they encouraged readers to fill them in with a range of possibilities, but not just any possibility. Adaptation studies, which for many years focused on the transfer of material from one medium to another, has had curiously little to say about the gaps that are or are not transferred. This presentation proposes to address this oversight by considering the hermeneutics of gaps (what counts as correct and incorrect fillings of gaps? to what extent are gaps medium-specific?), the phenomenology of gaps (how much freedom do we have in filling in gaps? to what extent are we able, and to what extent do we feel obliged, to fill them in? must we fill in every gap, and if not, how can we tell which gaps to leave blank?), and what I’ll call the erotics of gaps (to what extent do gaps define the ways we read different texts? in what ways does the pleasure we take in texts depend on gaps?).

Panel 18: Tie-ins, reversions and parody
Larry A. Gray, ‘BioShock and Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand-ed, Newly Branded’

The best-selling video game BioShock (2007)—set in a disintegrating Cold War era domed undersea city—alludes to Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged (1957) through character names, philosophical asides, and the player’s survivalist point of view within its game-universe. More conventionally, the cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged (film trilogy, 2011-2014) replicates most of the 1957 novel’s plot and ideas in a 2016 setting. Unintentionally, perhaps, these three films also allude in turn to the BioShock gaming franchise, in that each Atlas film uses a different cast to play the same roles: like game-players, the protagonists seek to prevail in a dystopian near-future United States—with emphasis on a New York City in economic decline. Complicating this intertextuality further is BioShock: Rapture (Tor, 2012), a media tie-in novel by John Shirley, that back-chronicles the post-WWII creation and subsequent disintegration of the video game’s metropolis but also essentially parodies Atlas Shrugged with a narrative that re-writes Rand’s life and career (1905-1982) as well as her novel. This matrix of recent tie-ins and re-imaginings, by turns parodic or reverent, reveals the consumer-oriented (d-)evolution of Rand’s self-centered philosophy in the decades following the novel’s 1957 publication. Although Rand’s writings disparage “parasites and looters” and extol the self-interested individual, these adaptations emphasize role-playing experiences that mostly expose the self-contradictions that Atlas Shrugged as a Cold War cultural artifact has come to represent.

Ana Coelho, ‘(Dis)placement and fantasy in Lost in Austen (2008)’

This paper aims at studying adaptation both as a process of reappropriation of the past and as a marker of contemporaneity, by analysing the TV mini-series Lost in Austen (2008), a spin-off of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice (1813), with a particular emphasis on the ideas of (dis)placement and identity. Having as a premise the relevance of popular culture, it intends firstly to question the common assumption taking such objects as low-rate entertainment products, dependant on little more than passing tendencies and commercial interests. Following the lead of current trends in Adaptation Studies, it will try to contribute to the discussion on the appropriation of Jane Austen by contemporaneity in order to reflect on the cultural and social meanings these new readings of literary classics convey, a particularly interesting subject given both this novelist’s canonical status and what she has come to represent in our shared global culture. By suggesting a time-travel experience, and thus juxtaposing Austen’s rural world and our own metropolitan lifestyle, Lost in Austen is a particular case in the myriad of the Austen-based adaptations. It provides an interesting case study regarding the way present expectations reveal themselves in fantasies about the past and offers insight on the way contemporary identity is defined in terms of place, both real and imagined.

Claire Monk, ‘Dissecting Ripper Street (BBC-TV 2013–14, BBC-TV/Amazon 2015–): from Victorian East London to 21st-century global markets’

My paper considers the highly iconoclastic neo-Victorian policing and forensics drama series Ripper Street: specifically, its spatial, socio-historic and aesthetic construction of the late-Victorian London metropolis – especially the 1880s-1890s East End ‘of’ Jack the Ripper – for a 21st-century global television market. Created and written by Richard Warlow, Ripper Street debuted on Sunday-night prime-time BBC1 in January 2013 in the UK, with audiences of around 7 million. By 2015, three seasons had been screened and five commissioned – via controversies around Ripper Street’s graphic representations and, from Season 3, a co-funding deal with Amazon Instant Video following an audience campaign for the series to continue. Focusing centrally on the spatialities and themes of the fast-changing metropolis established in Season 1, my analysis draws together intersecting areas which, together, prompt reflection on questions of realism, historicity and aesthetics in 21st-century ‘neo’-Victorian trans/media representations of the late-Victorian metropolis, but also on institutional and audience expectations of such texts, and their shaping for the global (and especially transatlantic) television market. First, I consider the specifics of Ripper Street’s neo-Victorian aesthetic in relation to its status as a ‘realist’ or social–historical representation (or not) of late-Victorian East London. Second, I consider Ripper Street’s visual and spatial construction of 1880s-1890s Whitechapel and London’s ‘East End’ in the context of antagonisms and flows between the East End, the closely adjacent financial City of London, and the West End, which in the series are played out within, and via, spatially boundaried conflicts in policing. Last, I consider the BBC’s differentiated trans/national marketing of Ripper Street Season 1 in relation to these distinctive features: within the BBC's 'Original British Drama' branding in the UK, and as a BBC America product in the USA.

Panel 19: Recreating/capturing the past
Katja Krebs, ‘Performing the Other: Adapting the Foreign in the Metropolis’

This paper investigates the adaptation of the foreign through an analysis of theatre and vaudeville performers who adopt identities of the culturally other as a quintessential characteristic of their act. This paper argues that such instances of (re)mediation of the other allow an analysis of the dramaturgical representation of adaptation while at the same time considering whether such instances of adaptation are quintessentially metropolitan whereby the urban context engenders such adaptations of the foreign in the first place. Case studies will be comprised of performances and performers who were part of the London theatre scene as well as acts which brought notions of the metropolitan to the regions. While such adaptation of the other did not necessarily satisfy the demand for novelty and curiosity to the extent to which exhibitions of the colonies could, they arguably used acts of adaptation in order to answer to stereotypes of learnedness, authenticity and urbanity. This paper is particularly concerned with stereotypes of the other within the metropolis as well as the metropolitan other in the regions; both of which were played out in speciality acts from the music halls and variety theatres. Examples include, amongst others, Chung Ling Soo aka William Elsworth Robinson (1861-1918), The Great Lafayette aka Sigismund Neuberger (1871-1911), and Dante aka Harry August Jansen (1883-1954).

Jonathan Bignell, ‘Rings around London: Television in 1946’

British television re-started on BBC on 7 June 1946, returning to its 1939 metropolitan character. It went back to remediation, adapting dramas written for the London theatre, and relaying public ceremonies and sporting events. The paper extends the motif of reversion and recycling to the concentric loops and rings in the spatiality of broadcasting at that time. At the centre were Alexandra Palace studios, equipped for programme production and also dissemination from a huge rooftop aerial. Television radiated out across London and into its hinterland, in a circle of about 40 miles radius. To go beyond the studio, the BBC used two Outside Broadcast units. A direct physical connection with the studio could be established by plugging the OB unit into a huge co-axial cable that had been laid, encircling London’s West End. In West End theatres, cameras were positioned on the Dress Circle at the Garrick and His Majesty’s theatres, for example. OB cameras followed the circling couples at the Hammersmith Palais de Danse, and transmitted pictures by radio from the circuit of Wimbledon Speedway and the Oval cricket ground. The paper uses these spatial and temporal loops to analyse how BBC adapted to its post-War role.

Vesna Dinić, ‘Architecture of Memories: Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza
Identity of place lies in the eye of the beholder more than its physical appearance. Our search for it becomes equated with a search for our own identity, as all of us have our own mix of emotions, memories and imagination that give a place its aura. What makes this search difficult in times of globalisation is the experience and the value of perpetual change that, as Frederic Jameson proclaimed, governs both media and architecture aesthetics, making fluidity of emotional change desireable, and subjective and objective experience indiscernible. This homelessness becoming the world’s destiny that Heidegger warned us about, additionally awakens the need for authenticity and individuality, that lie beneath the visible. In his film La Grande Belezza Sorentino encourages his main character to search for it in the memories of his younger days, manifesting this visually by detaching his gaze from the physical reality it’s directed upon. Directed toward his inner self instead, his look breaks the spatio-temporal continuity of the film, proving the emotional map he’s following to be the necessary companion of the cognitive one.
Hui Wu, ‘A Woman and a City’

Everlasting Regret is the title of famous narrative poem by Bai Juyi (772–846). It tells the love tragedy between the emperor and his concubine in the turmoil of a mutiny. In 1995, a novel with the same title came out, written by Wang Anyi from Shanghai. She tells a woman’s love tragedy and a city’s historical changes.1 In 2005, a film adapted from her novel was released by Guan Jinpeng from Hong Kong, entitled Everlasting Regret as well. The film is the adaptation of an adaptation. In this paper, I will discuss it from the following aspects: 1. narrative perspective: the change from female to male narration; 2. narrative context: the change from elite to popular culture; 3. narrative strategy: the mutual relationship and interpretation between the woman and the city. Movies can be a window to look at a country, a nation or, in this case, a city. The film Everlasting Regret undoubtedly makes audiences, especially foreign audiences, experience the changes and developments of Shanghai as a microcosm of China over half a century.

Panel 20: The European City Adapted
Laura Hatry, ‘Ruttmann’s Berlin: The Symphony of a Great City (1927) in Schadt’s Berlin Symphony (2002)’

In Ruttmann’s Berlin: The Symphony of a Great City (1927) we witness what has been considered part of the genre of the “city symphony”, that is, broadly speaking and even though the definitions are somewhat fluid, a film that depicts a city in a poetic, experimental and documentary way. While we are used to placing the “city symphonies” in the 1920s –when they originated– modern versions do exist, and in the particular case of Ruttmann has inspired contemporary directors to adapt the old classic. Schadt’s adaptation of 2002, Berlin Symphony, how the cinematographic language has changed, and especially how the portrayal of Berlin has shifted in these seventy-five years is going to be the centre of the paper. In this black-and-white adaptation, Schadt not only shows us modern day Berlin but also integrates the story of the metropolis, as well as a contemporary soundtrack that provides a rhythm that is interesting to compare to Edmund Meisel’s orchestra score that accompanied the original film. Another remarkable aspect is how the city is transformed before and after the war, as well as how this transition is exposed –or remains invisible– in both movies visually, architecturally, but also socially. 


Victor Xavier Zarour Zarzar, ‘Sporadic Flashes of Beauty: Rome and the Imagination’

We must only close our eyes, writes Céline, in what Paolo Sorrentino chose as the epigraph to La Grande Bellezza. We must only close our eyes, and give free rein to the imagination, in order to embark upon the journey that spans from the moment of birth to the moment of death. This is a process that Paolo Sorrentino crystalizes in La Grande Belleza¸ masterfully evoking with it all the tensions—the ultimate drame humain—that arise from such a human enterprise when it is carried out in a city that, as palpable proof of the transience of human ideology, becomes a most fertile ground for the imagination. For centuries past, Rome has been the quintessential quotidian mélange of tourists, the Church, history, paganism, civilians, and calcio. It is this constant waltz between the sacred and the profane that will be so fruitful in artistic representations of Rome, and that is so central to the formation of the city’s character. This paper will take into consideration Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza, as well as Fellini’s various films, to illustrate the particular imaginative relationship that individuals have with Rome, and the ways in which the city particularly accentuates the process of trying to recapture/recreate the past.

Anna Fábián, ‘City Landmarks Shaping Shakespeare on page, on stage and on the screen’

Landmarks are defined in dictionaries as "notable locations of historical, cultural or geographical significance" and also "recognizable natural or man-made features which we can use for navigation," as points of reference. Or, if we look at it simply, landmarks can be defined as famous places of interest, tourist attractions and must-see points of a certain city. This paper attempts to show how these landmarks, these physical, popular and mostly urban points of reference re-define and/or adapt well known literary texts – texts which themselves can be viewed as landmarks in the course of literature: Shakespeare's probably best known tragedies, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Hamlet. I would like to show how the landmarks of Budapest, Berlin, Verona, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro or Mexico city recreate the familiar plays, and how they affect the remediations of the familiar stories through different media, such as drama texts, stage performances or films on the screen. I would also like to point out briefly how literary texts and their reinterpretations, adaptations and remediations can also shape the existence of physical landmarks, and how the interaction of literary texts and physical urban landmarks is a dynamic, open interaction process working in both ways.

Association of Adaptation Studies Annual General Meeting

Friday September 25, 2015


Beveridge Hall, Senate House, London, UK

  1. Minutes of the AAS AGM 2014, Flagler College, St Augustine

  2. Notification of AOB

  3. Essay Prize 2015 and 2016

  4. Budget, spending plans and Treasurer’s Report 2015 (Deborah Cartmell)

  5. Future joint events with LFA (Literature/Film Association, USA)

  6. Website

  7. 2016 conference plans (Jeremy Strong) and expressions of interest for future conferences

  8. Associated conferences and other activities

  9. Broadening AAS activities

  10. Targets for 2015/16

  11. A.O.B