Special Issue:  Adaptation and Audiences

Abstract Deadline:  May 1, 2016


In his essay “Adaptation and New Media,” Michael Ryan Moore reflects on the status of adaptation studies in the digital age, stating that with new media “adaptation becomes a strategy of participation. Rather than develop wholly new works, audiences take ownership over existing media, adapting the stories, shows, and films that they most identify with" (183). In this special issue of LFQ, we seek to explore the role of audiences in adaptation and the manner in which adaptation is a participatory process. How do audiences make meaning out of adapted properties? What is the role of memory or nostalgia in adaptation? How might transmedia storytelling ask audiences to interact with texts in new and exciting ways? How does fan culture complicate existing models of author/encoder and spectator/decoder?

Adaptation studies have long asked useful and engaging questions concerning the textual and authorial dimensions of adaptation processes, but has not as readily addressed the role of audiences in this equation. Nor has the field engaged fully with the rich and innovative work done in reception studies. For this issue of LFQ, we seek to put adaptation studies and reception studies in conversation. 

We welcome work that explores the complex relationship between adaptation and audiences from a variety of disciplinary, critical, and historical perspectives. Possible areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

  • Amateur, unauthorized, “sweded,” or fan–produced adaptations
  • Cosplay, role-playing, and –Con festivals
  • Fan love and cinephilia for adapted properties
  • Fan hatred or rejection of adapted properties
  • Franchises, multi-platform, and transmedia storytelling
  • Scholar-fandom and autoethnography
  • Adaptation as a mode of reception/fandom
  • Remaking, rebooting, and the “reclaimed” text
  • Stardom and adaptation
  • Adaptation to/from video games and other participatory formats
  • Oppositional reading or queering adaptation
  • Fan or slash fiction; exploration or extension of storyworlds
  • Adaptation and affect, emotion, or sensation
  • Adaptation and nostalgia/memory
  • Paratexts and/as adaptations
  • Merchandising and collecting
  • Advertising and marketing of adaptations
  • Censorship, rating systems, test audiences, and boycotts
  • Kickstarter and crowd-sourced film adaptations
  • Exhibition practices and distribution of adaptations

Please submit a 500-800 word abstract in MLA style to litfilmquart@salisbury.edu by May 1, 2016. Your abstract should outline your working thesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework(s) within which your essay will be situated. If accepted, full articles of 5,000 to 6,500 words must be submitted by October 3, 2016. The Special Issue will run in October 2017 as part of LFQ’s new online open access format.

Please email LFQ Assistant Editor Andrew Scahill at adscahill@salisbury.edu with any questions. 

Work Cited

Moore, Michael Ryan. “Adaptation and New Media.” Adaptation 3: 2. 2010, 179-192.



© 2015 Literature/Film Quarterly @ Salisbury University
Contact: 410-677-5357, litfilmquart@salisbury.edu


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