Adaptation – Film, TV, Literature, & Electronic Gaming

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Call for PCA 2018 (Indianapolis, 3/28-3/31)

Adaptations of History/Histories of Adaptation

Our theme for next year will center on adaptations of history and/or historical approaches to the act of adaptation. Narrative media such as film, television, literature, and even video games perpetually adapt historical events. Beyond that, Defne Ersin Tutan points out that “all historical representations are radically adaptive,” and that “every version of history should be regarded as a rewriting, essentially an adaptation, since the historian adapts the material she or he has at hand into a pre-planned scheme to meet a certain end.” Add to that the fact that the field of adaptation studies has yet to offer a comprehensive accounting for and engagement with the history of the act of adaptation, and it becomes obvious that the broadly defined landscape of history and adaptation is a potentially fertile one.

With those things in mind, we invite papers that consider history and adaptation in any of these contexts and permutations—from studies of specific adaptations of history (Imitation Game, Hidden Figures, Vikings, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, etc.), to considerations of histories as adaptation, or the histories of adaptation. Such explorations and engagements might allow us to ask us what the methods of historians have to tell us about adaptation and adaptation studies as well as what the methods of adaptation studies can tell us about history.

As always, we consider “adaptation” as much a reading strategy as a way of constructing texts, or as much a way of looking at texts as a particular brand of texts. Thus, we welcome papers on any and all aspects of what you read and conceive of as adaptation.

Contact Glenn Jellenik ( with questions.