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Early Modern England on Film: Appropriation, Adaptation, and Translation (Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA))

Boston, MA
Event: Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Categories: British, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

In the field of Shakespearean studies, attempts to make Shakespeare more accessible to new audiences often include the work of appropriation, adaptation, and translation. In her essay “Beyond Shakespeare: Early Modern Adaptation Studies and Its Potential” Jennifer Clement reminds us that “[s]cholars looking to study Shakespeare on film can not only count a lifetime supply of material, but associate themselves with Shakespeare’s canonical credibility and film’s mass market appeal.” While there have been countless examples of Shakespeare’s plays being adapted on film for a contemporary audience across different cinema genres (musicals, children’s animation, sci-fi, and Indian cinema), not all of these films have received the same level of research interest by literary scholars. Additionally, many other early modern figures and texts have also been appropriated, adapted, or translated for film and television, but conversation is often limited to the world of cinema studies. Lastly, many early modern figures and texts that have not been appropriated, adapted, or translated should be considered for future productions, and scholarly interest and research on this topic can further encourage the creation and development of these possible film representations.

This panel seeks to further examine appropriation, adaptation, and translations on film of early modern figures and texts, including non-traditional adaptations that do not maintain persistent fidelity to the original. Of particular interest are: (1) Shakespearean representations in Indian or other non-Hollywood cinema and/or non-traditional fidelity to his plays; (2) under-represented historical figures, including early modern women beyond Anne Boleyn; and (3) non-Shakespearean texts, including the works of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, as well as later early modern authors, such as John Milton and Margaret Cavendish. Abstracts should consider this year’s convention keyword “SURPLUS,” as well as differences in the terms: appropriation, adaptation, and translation. Additionally, while concepts and theories in film-studies may influence some of your analysis, proposals that primarily situate research from within a literary perspective, as opposed to a film-studies frame of reference, are highly encouraged.

Abstracts are due by 30 September 2023. To submit an abstract, please log into the NeMLA Online Submission System at: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login

Abstracts must include: 

Title (80 characters or less)
Abstract (200 to 300 words)
Brief Bio
Media Needs (project/screen/laptop)

Please direct all questions to Jennifer Topale at Jennifer.topale@du.edu. 



Jennifer Topale