Call for Essays | Adapting the Eighteenth Century

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 24, 2016

Adapting the Eighteenth Century: Pedagogies and Practices
Edited by Sharon Harrow (Professor of English, Shippensburg University) and Kirsten Saxton (Professor of English, Mills College)

Proposals due by 15 August 2016; final essays due by 15 January 2017

The eighteenth century has quite a bit of popular currency these days; we see adaptations of eighteenth-century literature and culture on tumblr, fan fiction, web series, scent lines, cult mashups, Facebook accounts, you-tube videos, fashion, graphic novels, literary fiction, theater stagings, greeting cards, and in mainstream films. Adaptation is currently a lively intellectual topic, generating both theoretical and applied research. Theories of adaptation—including Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation, Julie Sanders’s Adaptation and Appropriation, and Dan Hassler-Forest’s and Pascal Nicklas’s The Politics of Adaptation: Media Convergence and Ideology—undergird recent inquiries into adaptation, including interpretations of contemporary adaptations of eighteenth-century texts, such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Longbourn, The Scandal of the Season, Foe, The Cattle Killing, Inkle and Yariko, Mother Clap’s Molly House, and Zong! In addition, new work argues for the adaptive nature of the century itself; Citizens of the World: Adapting in the Eighteenth Century, edited by Samara Anne Cahill and Kevin Cope, explores adaptations—transnational and transactional—within the century.

Our collection will build on this rich scholarly foundation to focus on adaptation and pedagogy. Adaptations of material or ideas from the long eighteenth century are often seen as middlebrow simplifications, capitalist exploitations, or, in teaching, simply as gateway texts. Rather than viewing adaptations as the spoonful of sugar, we invite essays to combine current adaptations of eighteenth-century texts or concepts with texts from the eighteenth-century in ways that provocatively and thoughtfully open up and out our own reading and teaching.

Essays might focus on the literary (novels, plays, poems), or on philosophical or scientific treatises, paintings, historical records, or musical notations. We are interested in both direct adaptations as well as in appropriations, re-mixes, or traces. We are particularly interested in essays that move beyond description of a film adaptation of a book to address new forms of media convergence and participatory culture in which reading, watching, and listening are key elements in the process of adaptation.

Adapting the Eighteenth Century: Pedagogies and Practices hopes to be broadly representative in the philosophies, methodologies, and critical orientations presented; and in the types of schools, students, and courses considered. We want the book to be relevant for non-specialists as well as specialists, for graduate student teachers as well as senior professors. We welcome essays across a range of disciplines, geographies, and levels of focus. Since this volume is dedicated to teaching,  abstracts and essays should center on pedagogical issues. Whatever its topic—practical teaching or more theoretical or topical—essays should explicitly address how they will apply to the needs of teachers in preparing and teaching classes and the needs of students in learning.

Please send a 500 word proposal/abstract and a CV to ktsaxton@mills.edu and srharr@ship.edu by August 15, 2016. We will respond with decisions by September 15, 2016. Completed essays of no more than 25 pages will be due by January 15, 2017.

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