three people sitting on a bench in front of a wall with pictures of faces

PD Dr. Wieland Schwanebeck (TUD); Dr. Iain Robert Smith, Dr. Christopher Holliday, Dr. Belén Vidal (King’s)

A transcultural approach to the field of adaptation studies offers the discipline a chance to reconceptualise itself beyond the classical dichotomies of ‘original’ and ‘adaptation’ and, by implication, of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. The idea of transculturalism goes beyond old-fashioned ideas about monolithic cultures and is thus wholly appropriate to the contemporary globalised world.

It is the aim of this project to go beyond existing forays into transcultural adaptation, for these are usually limited to studying traditional forms of ‘adaptive traffic’. By contrast, this project will not only put a distinct emphasis on methodological groundwork and explore hotly debated topics like border-crossings, hybridity, and appropriation, it will also ponder adaptation beyond the traditional literature/film divide by considering contemporary phenomena like the narratives of migration, and adaptation in the digital age.

To do justice to the complex field of transcultural adaptation studies, the project holds these three central components: 1) a joint teaching initiative that introduces students to basics of transcultural adaptation studies and the field of world cinema, as well as to hotly contested current debates, like cultural appropriation; 2) an international workshop which will continue the groundwork which was laid in 2018 with a workshop in Dresden; 3) a network project, which has the explicit aim of prepping a joint publication: a textbook introduction to the field of transcultural adaptation studies which will survey existing and heavily contested concepts like adaptation-as-colonisation and appropriation.