14-15 September, 2023 (Online)
Organizers: Julie Grossman (Le Moyne College), Thomas Leitch (University of Delaware), Iain Smith (Kings College London), Constantine Verevis (Monash University)
The rapid rise of seriality studies over the past two decades has presented scholars with extraordinary opportunities and significant challenges. Like its slightly older cousins, translation studies and adaptation studies, seriality studies focuses less on the explication of individual texts than on conditions surrounding their production, their reception, and their relations to other texts. In an echo of the culture wars of the 1980s, studies of the production, reception, and interrelations of texts have mounted a serious challenge to the interpretation of canonical texts as the central activity of textual studies. At the same time, seriality scholarship and adaptation scholarship, despite their obvious common interests, have often conceived of their projects in very different terms, just as adaptation and translation studies have done. The resulting independence of these areas has deprived researchers on both sides of the aisle of pivotal terms, methodologies, and questions that could well enrich them both.
In September 2021, we organized a two-day Zoom symposium, hosted by the University of Delaware, seeking to bring scholars of adaptation and seriality into more open conversation with each other, not by recommending a single master set of terms or procedures, still less by seeking to absorb either one of them into the other, but by raising questions of common concern to both fields and encouraging practitioners in both to share their views about them. Our goal was not to produce a manifesto or working document but to send our virtual participants back to their work renewed and reinvigorated by the conversations we sought to foster; to encourage further joint projects between scholars of serializing and adapting; and incidentally to allow scholars deeply rooted in either of these fields to learn more about the leading questions of the other. The symposium was so successful that we took our cue from our own title and launched a sequel that met in September 2022.
Since we don’t think for a minute that we’ve exhausted people’s appetite for talking about adaptation and seriality, we’re planning a third symposium. Borrowing the structure of the first two, it will feature four 75-minute roundtables, two each between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. GMT, on Thursday and Friday, 14 and 15 September 2023. Each roundtable will begin with brief presentations of 5 to 7 minutes each by six or seven scholars of seriality and adaptation, followed by a discussion in which all attendees are invited to participate. The categories that have generated the most lively discussion over our first two installments have been:
• Adapting vs. serializing
• Critical fandom
We welcome proposals of 100 words within any of these broad categories or other topics outside these categories. Please send these proposals together with brief bios of 50 words to Thomas Leitch at firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 May 2023.