Adaptation and the Novel

Saturday 9 November 2013, Claus Moser Research Centre, Keele University

Organisers:  Nick Seager and Jo Taylor

Plenary lectures by Rachel Carroll (Teeside University) and Sarah Wootton (Durham University)

Are novels tainted or legitimated in the process of adaptation?  What aesthetic challenges and opportunities does the transition of a story from one genre to another present?  And in what cultural, commercial, and artistic contexts have processes of adaptation and appropriation taken place?

This one-day conference invites proposals for 20-minute papers addressing any aspect of adaptation and the novel, from the origins of the genre to the present day.  Papers may choose to address one of the following topics:

  • Adaptations of prose fiction to the screen (big and small)
  • The novel’s presence on the stage – in drama, dance, musicals, and opera
  • Textual histories and amendments (abridgement, continuation, translation, rewritings)
  • Novels’ visual afterlives, from high art to cartoons, graphic novels, and video games
  • The appropriations of novels in fictional reworkings (from The Swiss Family Robinson to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
  • The production and reception of adaptations
  • The relationship of ‘literary’ forms to ‘popular’ cultural ones
  • Adaptations for different age groups
  • Appropriations across national and cultural boundaries
  • Adaptations of other genres into prose fiction
  • Theories of adaptation, as these relate to the novel
  • The creative practice of adapting to or from the novel

This is far from an exhaustive list and we are open to approaches that engage with adaptation and the novel in literal or in more abstract senses.  We are eager to receive proposals that address Anglophone and non-Anglophone novels, and which reflect the long history of efforts to adapt the novel, efforts which are surely as old as the genre itself and which continue to this day.

Please send a proposal of 300–500 words by 13 September 2013 to &  Informal enquiries are also welcome.  We will notify applicants of the decision on their paper as soon as possible after the deadline, but can possibly also offer earlier notification if you request this.

Two bursaries of £50 are available for current postgraduate students giving a paper, which will defray travel or accommodation costs.  Please indicate when you send your proposal that you wish to be considered for these and include a 200-word ‘statement of need’ (specify any current or past funding and any financial support you have received for attending this conference).

The registration fee is £10 if you register before October 15th, and £15 thereafter.
The fee covers lunch and refreshments (it is waived for Keele postgraduate students).

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