Past Conferences

CFP – Virtual Conference – Nov. 6, 2020

On Friday, November 6, the Literature/Film Association will host a one-day online conference with roundtable discussions and our annual meeting.

Unlike our traditional annual conference, which features panels and paper presentations, we are using the online format to hold roundtable discussions around recent and enduring issues within adaptation studies. In that spirit, we are soliciting 500 to 750 word position papers in response to one of the questions below. For example, we are not looking for readings of Blade Runner, but rather statements that might use Blade Runner to enter a discussion on ideologies surrounding technology and adaptation.

Accepted papers will be organized into roundtable sessions and posted online before November 6, so attendees can read the responses. Presenters will briefly introduce their ideas (5-7 minutes) during the November 6th session, but the majority of the session will be an open discussion of the question and the responses it has prompted.

Interested discussants should submit their 500-750 word position papers to by Wednesday, September 30. Any questions can be addressed to the same address.

Identity and Adaptation

  • How does adaptation (or adaptation studies) construct and represent identities?
  • In what ways does adaptation participate in the construction, deconstruction, and/or reconstruction of race, gender, class, sexuality, or physical ability?
  • How do audiences construct their identities through adaptations?

Ideology and Adaptation

  • How do adaptations perpetuate or challenge ideologies?
  • How do adaptations reveal ideological tensions?

Nation and Adaptation

  • How do adaptations construct nation and national identity?
  • How do adaptations challenge our received understanding of nation and national identity?
  • To what extent is nation a useful category for studying adaptation? How might a focus on the local, regional, or transnational reconfigure our notion of place and identity in adaptations?

Medium and Adaptation

  • How do adaptations reveal the nature, possibilities, and limitations of their respective media?
  • How have adaptations adapted to the modes of production, narrative structures, and consumption practices of their respective media?
  • How does medium specificity function (or not function) within adaptation studies?

Recent Adaptations

  • What recent adaptations raise important concerns for adaptation studies?
  • How have recent adaptations across media challenged our study of adaptation?
  • Which recent adaptations stand out as successes or failures in adaptation?

Teaching Adaptation

  • How do you structure courses in adaptation studies?
  • What elements do your classes on adaptation studies have that other classes do not?
  • What assessment do you use in such courses?
  • What does not work in structuring, leading, or assessing courses in adaptation?

General Concerns

  • What issues are shaping current research in adaptation studies?
  • What issues have scholars overlooked in foundational and recent research in adaptation studies?

Notice of Cancellation of 2020 Annual Conference

Although we hoped we could look forward to our 2020 meeting New Orleans, we have come to accept that we simply cannot know where New Orleans or any other place will be this fall. In an effort to keep our members across the country and around the world safe, and to allow each of us to plan during a time where medical and financial restrictions may impede our gathering, the Board has made the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 meeting in New Orleans. The Four Points in New Orleans graciously has agreed to our request. We have already arranged to bring our “Work & Play” conference to The Four Points 20-24 October 2021.

In the meantime, best wishes to you and yours, and thank you for your ongoing support of the Literature/Film Association.

September 12-14, 2019

Conference Program Draft: Final (PDF)

Portland State University

Portland, Oregon, USA

Keynotes: Amanda Ann Klein, East Carolina University; Matt McCormick, Gonzaga University

In holding this year’s conference in downtown Portland, one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the United States, we invite attendees to consider the themes of “repurpose” and “recycle,” broadly conceived. What function—socially, politically, and economically—do sequels, remakes, and reboots serve in media culture? How do reboots and remakes allow creators and audiences not only to revisit, but reimagine familiar narratives? What historical precedents might we return to in our attempts to better understand the nature and influence of series, serials, and (trans)media franchises today? And how might adaptation studies play a vital role in these critical discussions? While we welcome papers on any aspect of adaptation studies, we are especially interested in presentations that address one or more of the following concerns (or similar topics):

·         transmedia storytelling

·         media franchising

·         recombinant culture

·         questions of authorship

·         film genres and genre cycles

·         economic and industrial perspectives on remakes

·         rebooting television series

·         evaluating sequels, remakes, and reboots

·         the question of originality and artistry in adaptation

·         environmental media and ecocritical perspectives

·         ecocinema and ecomedia

·         media and the anthropocene

·         historical precedents in series, serial, and franchise storytelling

·         formalist and narratological approaches to series, serial, and franchise storytelling

·         narrative extensions into new media, including video games

·         the impact of #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo on reimagining adaptation

·         teaching adaptation

The LFA also welcomes work in media studies, more broadly. We have significant interest in broader studies of American and international cinema, film and technology, television, new media, and other cultural or political issues connected to the moving image. In addition to academic papers, presentation proposals about pedagogy or from creative writers, artists, and filmmakers are also welcome.

We are excited to feature two outstanding keynote speakers this year:

Amanda Ann Klein, Associate Professor of Film Studies in the English Department at East Carolina University, is author of American Film Cycles: Reframing Genres, Screening Social Problems, & Defining Subcultures (University of Texas Press, 2011) and co-editor of Multiplicities: Cycles, Sequels, Remakes and Reboots in Film & Television (University of Texas Press, 2016). Her manuscript, Identity Killed the Video Star: A Cultural History of MTV Reality Programming, is under contract with Duke University Press. Her scholarship has appeared in Quarterly Review of Film and VideoJump CutFilm CriticismFlowAntennaSalonThe AtlanticThe Chronicle of Higher EducationInside Higher Ed, and The New Yorker.  We are very pleased to have the opportunity to hear her connect her work to our conference theme: Reboot, Repurpose, Recycle.

Matt McCormick has for many years been a key figure in the Portland art and film scene and is currently Assistant Professor of Integrated Media & Art at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA . Matt’s work crosses mediums and defies genre distinctions to fashion witty, abstract observations of contemporary culture and the urban landscape.  His films, which include The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal, Some Days Are Better Than Others, The Great Northwest, and Buzz One Four, have screened in venues ranging from the Sundance Film Festival to the Museum of Modern Art, and have been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Art Forum, and many other media outlets.  Matt has also directed music videos for bands including The Shins, Sleater-Kinney, and Broken Bells. We look forward to welcoming him to LFA 2019 as he offers screenings and discussions of his distinctive and captivating work.

November 29-December 1, 2018
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Conference Program (PDF): LFA Program 11 20

Keynote: Christopher Schaberg, Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English, Loyola University New Orleans

Holding our annual conference in New Orleans raises questions of space, place, and adaptation in the study of literature, film, and media. The city has long served as a point of contact and conflict between various cultures and their traditions, and its unique identity demonstrates the enduring influence of those populations today. While we welcome papers on any aspect of film and media studies, we are especially interested in presentations that address one or more of the following concerns (or similar topics):

•the poetics of space and place
• the politics of space and place
• adapting literary spaces and places in media
• teaching space, place, and media
• exhibition spaces
• the rural, regional, national, or transnational in media
• cosmopolitanism
• space, place, and identity
• media institutions, such as archives, film libraries, and film festivals
• location shooting and recreating place in media
• mobility, migration, and exile
• space, place, and genre
• sets as sites of inquiry
• production design
• media infrastructures
• architecture and media
• geographical approaches to media
• space, place, and performance
• Louisiana as a media capital

We also have significant interest in general studies of American and international cinema, film and technology, television, and new media, and other cultural or political issues connected to the moving image. In addition to academic papers, presentation proposals about pedagogy or from creative writers, artists, and filmmakers are also welcome.

Christopher Schaberg, our keynote speaker this year, is Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, where he teaches courses in contemporary literature, cultural studies, and environmental theory. He has written four monographs: The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (2012), The End of Airports (2015), Airportness: The Nature of Flight (2017), and The Work of Literature in an Age of Post-Truth. He has also co-edited two collections: Deconstructing Brad Pitt (2014, with Robert Bennett) and Airplane Reading (2016, with Mark Yakich). With Ian Bogost, he co-edits the Object Lessons series, exploring the hidden lives of ordinary things.

Literature/Film Association Annual Conference 2017

October 26 – 29, 2017
University of Montana
Missoula, Montana USA

Download LFA 2017 Conference Program (PDF): LFA Conference 2017 Program Politics Ethics Adaptation

What are the political and ethical dimensions involved in adaptation – between media, genres, societies, communication systems, and other narrative and cultural phenomena? How are topics of politics and ethics treated in different textual and mediated spaces? These are questions the LFA seeks to address and discuss at this year’s conference as we face a time of acute political division nationally in the US and internationally across the globe. Connected to these queries are considerations of responsibility and freedom involved in acts of expression and communication in literature, film, mass media, the press, government, and everyday life. How can boundaries found between and amid such spaces be challenged and re-approached via the lens of politics and ethics? While such a view involves definitions and rules of power, privilege, and principle, this critical scope can also invite us to imagine new paradigms of possibility.

Our conference keynote speaker is Theodore Van Alst, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Native American Studies at the University of Montana, where he is also a member of the Film Studies program. A writer, critic, and educator, Van Alst has published book chapters in Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins and in the series Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Indigenous ResearchGreat Plains Quarterly, as well as in the Cuban cinema and television journal Mirados, and his fiction and photography have been featured in The Rumpus, The Raven ChroniclesHigh Desert Journal, Yellow Medicine ReviewEntropy, and Indian Country Today. Professor Van Alst has additionally worked as a project consultant for the Disney Channel and NPR’s All Things Considered, appeared in the History Channel series Mankind: The Story of All of Us, and has been interviewed by numerous media outlets on subjects ranging from Native representation and Tonto to Spaghetti Westerns, headdresses, and Twilight. He is also co-editor and creative editor of Transmotion: A Journal of Postmodern Indigenous Studies, and editor of the volume The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones.  A collection of Van Alst’s own short stories, Sacred Smokes, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in the fall of 2018. Van Alst is currently working on a book project on European cinematic treatments of American Indians in the 1960’s and 70’s to be titled either Code(d) Red: Revolution and American Indians in European Film or Spaghetti and Sauerkraut with a Side of Frybread.

Literature/Film Association Annual Conference
October 13-16, 2016
Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ

“Alternate Worlds”

Download LFA 2016 Conference Program –  LFA 2016 Schedule (PDF)

Every work of fiction in every medium presents a world distinct from our own. Adaptations in particular can be defined in terms of their worlds, which provide alternatives to both the world of their audience and the world of their source texts. And some works of fiction invite us to think more speculatively and precisely about what it means to present or encounter an alternate world. Film and media adaptations have frequently projected an alternate cinematic world on screen that re-imagines the past and future. Movies (Blade Runner, The Quiet American), TV shows (Sherlock, Agent Carter), and digital ‘new media’ series—increasingly streamed and ‘binge watched’ on Netflix (House of Cards) and Amazon (The Man in the High Castle)—have been inspired by a variety of fiction novels, short stories, plays, comics, graphic novels, and historical works of nonfiction, memoirs (Bridge of Spies) or documentary (Jazz on a Summer’s Day) cine-essays that mediate and reframe history to portray an alternate worldview which re-imagines the past and anticipates a vision of future events. Digital video streaming and binge watching of films and media also creates an alternate world transforming the cinematic or televisual viewing reception experience. What does this cinematic adapting, re-imagining of the past (or future), and projection of an alternate world on screen tell us about the cultural moment we find ourselves in? The 2016 Literature/Film Association conference explores the theme of “Alternate Worlds.”

The conference’s keynote speakers will be Frank Spotnitz, Chief Executive of Big Light Productions and writer-producer of the Amazon television series The Man in the High Castle (and The X-Files) who will discuss adapting Philip K. Dick; award-winning New York Times and JazzTimes critic Nate Chinen (co-author of Myself Among Others: A Life in Music with George Wein) will discuss adapting jazz to film in the Newport documentary Jazz on a Summer’s Day; and Thomas Doherty, Professor and Chair of American Studies at Brandeis University, an Academy Film Scholar, Fulbright Scholar, associate editor for Cineaste, film review editor for the Journal of American History, and cultural historian with a special interest in Hollywood cinema. Doherty’s books include Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 (Columbia UP); Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration (Columbia UP); Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture (Columbia UP); Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934 (Columbia UP); Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II (Columbia UP); and Teenagers & Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950’s (Unwin Hyman).

Literature/Film Association Annual Conference
October 15-18, 2015
York College of Pennsylvania
York, PA

Download 2015 Conference Program (PDF): 2015 Film and Literature Association Program (Final)

“Adapting the Real”

Film adaptation has largely been inspired by fiction. Historically, the movies have taken their cue from novels, short stories, and plays. In recent years, however, a growing number of films have been based on works of nonfiction, including memoirs (American Sniper, Wild, Captain Phillips, Twelve Years a Slave), biographies (The Imitation Game, Unbroken, The Theory of Everything, Lincoln), histories (Argo, The Monuments Men, Public Enemies, Seabiscuit), reportage (The Bling Ring, Fast Food Nation, Moneyball, Green Zone)—even self-help and inspirational books (Heaven is for Real, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Julie & Julia, Think Like a Man). Still other movies have sought to directly engage with or shape—in short, “adapt”—reality itself, from docudramas (Selma, Margin Call, Compliance, Foxcatcher) to essay films (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Los Angeles Plays Itself, My Winnipeg, Waltz with Bashir), to say nothing of the history of documentary itself. What does this new appetite for the real—especially where adaptation is concerned—tell us about the cultural moment we find ourselves in? The 2015 Literature/Film Association conference takes up the exploration of this question as its theme.

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Timothy Corrigan, Professor of English and Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Corrigan’s work in Cinema Studies has focused on modern American and contemporary international cinema, with a special interest in adaptation and nonfiction film. His books include New German Film: The Displaced Image (Indiana UP), The Films of Werner Herzog: Between Mirage and History (Routledge), A Cinema without Walls: Movies and Culture after Vietnam (Routledge/Rutgers UP), Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader (2nd ed., Routledge), and The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker (Oxford UP), winner of the 2012 Katherine Singer Kovács Award for the outstanding book in film and media studies. He has also published essays in Film Quarterly, Discourse, and Cinema Journal, among other collections, and is an editor of the journal Adaptation.

Literature/Film Association Annual Conference 2014

October 2 – 4, 2014
University of Montana: Missoula, Montana USA

Download 2014 Conference Program (PDF): LFA 2014 Program

Come join us at the 2014 LFA Annual Conference on the beautiful campus of the University of Montana in the dynamic frontier river city of Missoula. This year’s conference focuses on dimensions of fluidity found at margins and meeting points of literature, film, media, genre, and culture. While proposals addressing these topics in the context of the American West are especially encouraged, presentations touching on any aspect of fluidity, frontier, and/or other physical and conceptual spaces that represent intersections of literature, film, media, genre and/or culture are welcome. Our conference keynote speakers are Montana film-maker Andrew Smith (Winter in the Blood, 2013; The Slaughter Rule, 2002) and Montana film scholar and film-maker Dr. Paul Monaco (John Dahl and Neo-Noir: Examining Auteurism and Genre, 2010; A History of American Movies: A Film-By-Film Look at the Art, Craft, and Business of Cinema, 2010; The Sixties: 1960 – 1969 from The History of American Cinema Series, 2000).





“I like to watch. . .” writes David Thomson in his new book, The Big Screen (2012). “We citizens are living with screens, even if nowadays we don’t go to ‘the movies’. . . .” Thomson, noted critic and historian, is the Keynote Speaker at the 2013 LFA Conference. His book provides the theme of this year’s Conference—“Big Screens, Small Screens: Size Matters (in Adaptation).”  This year we explore the changing aspects and consequences of the many “screens”—big, small, stationary, and mobile— that dominate our visual culture. These range from the big theater screens of classical Hollywood to today’s television and computer screens, mobile, hand-held screens of iPhones and iPads, interactive video games, and the still frames of comic books and graphic novels. Moreover, we are no longer stationary viewers and readers positioned in public theaters and domestic armchairs; we consume our cinematic and literary texts on the move, in cars, office spaces, shopping malls, and airplanes. Consumption, perception, and comprehension of these texts are affected. As a result, the whole nature and practice of “adaptation” is changing.