Appel à communication : Adaptation, Intertextual Transformations Across Different Media

Romance Studies Colloquium
Swansea University, 1-3 July 2015

Adaptation: Intertextual Transformations Across Different Media

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Ann Caesar (Warwick)
Professor John London (Goldsmiths)
Professor Mary Orr (Southampton)

The 2015 Romance Studies Colloquium will take place in Swansea (Wales) from 1-3 July 2015, and will address issues related to the broad theme of adaptation in its myriad manifestations within and across the Romance languages. The Colloquium will be dedicated to the memory of Dr Jane Dunnett (1960-2013) who was Senior Lecturer in Italian at Swansea University.

Adaptation is ubiquitous in contemporary culture; indeed, it has given rise to a burgeoning new academic field, Adaptation Studies, driven largely by scholars from English and Film (eg. Linda Hutcheon, Deborah Cartmell, Thomas Leitch). The time is ripe for a re-evaluation of this creative mode from the perspective of our cognate disciplines. Whether or not inter-linguistic re-coding occurs, there are significant parallels to be found with aspects of the translation process, not least in the generalised tendency to conceptualise the phenomenon in binary terms, with an ‘original’ source text generating a ‘derivative’ target text. Yet, the process of adaptation is infinitely richer than this polarisation suggests. At its heart lies what Linda Hutcheon (A Theory of Adaptation, 2006) has referred to as ‘palimpsestuous intertextuality’. It is hoped that this Colloquium will bring new interdisciplinary insights to our critical understanding of adaptation, benefiting from the comparatist vantage point that we have as linguists.

Historically, adaptations have been employed for a variety of reasons, not least as a means of reconfiguring familiar material under a more acceptable guise or of introducing fresh literary styles, a means of circumventing censorship as well as pushing boundaries.

Adaptations may or may not be declared as such; they can be a way of recuperating a text that has fallen out of fashion by rewriting it in a modern idiom or revisiting it in a genre that is more in tune with current sensibilities.

Scholars might like to engage with some of the following questions:

Ø  How important is it for target audiences to be aware of the origins of a newly minted text (be it a play for the stage or radio, an opera, a poem or series of poems, a graphic novel, or a film)?

Ø  Are the identity and authority of a source text challenged when what are perceived as variant versions of it circulate?

Ø  Does adapting an existing text imply appropriating it?

Ø  In what ways do concerns about the canon feed into the reception of texts presented as adaptations?

Ø  How do notions of ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture affect the phenomenon of re-mediating a text?

Ø  What status do adaptations have in countries with different literary and artistic traditions?

Ø  To what extent is the impulse to adapt motivated by commercial considerations?

Ø  Is it useful to think in terms of ‘transnational adaptation’ when different languages are involved?

Ø  More generally, is the discourse adopted to discuss adaptation adequate? Or is the term too capacious to encompass the range of modalities and techniques deployed?

Papers need not be limited to these topics and can include discussions of other cultural, ethical, ideological, linguistic, literary, political, or theoretical aspects of the adaptation mode.  Interdisciplinary approaches (drawing on the visual arts, film, performance and cultural studies) are welcome. Papers may focus on any period or place in Romance Studies.

Proposals for individual twenty-minute papers (300 words in English) or for panels (panel rationale of 100 words with names of participants and titles, as well as individual abstracts of 300 words) should be emailed to Dr Lloyd Hughes Davies ( by September 30, 2014.


A selection of peer-reviewed essays (c. 6,000 words) based on papers given at the Colloquium will be published in a Special Issue of the journal Romance Studies.  Please note that abstracts and conference papers must be presented in English, but submissions for publication may be written in English, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Romance Studies

Joint Editors: Lloyd Hughes Davies and Elizabeth Emery. North American Editor: Gayle Zachmann. Subject Editors: Alicia Montoya (French); D. Gareth Walters (Hispanic); Howard Moss (Italian); Rogerio Miguel Puga (Portuguese)


Lloyd Hughes Davies


Swansea, Pays de Galles

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