Call for papers Fall 2020

Special section: Transmedia Storytelling

Editors: Anna De Biasio (University of Bergamo); Valeria Gennero (University of Bergamo)

Transmedia Storytelling

Contemporary culture is replete with narratives that recall and respond to each other from one medium to another, according to what Richard Jenkins defined as convergence culture: a flow of contents that are produced, circulated, and received through multiple devices and platforms, blurring the distinction between high literature and low culture and simultaneously complicating the definition of literature as a practice based upon the individual production and reception of a written text. Whereas the representation of one medium within another has always been a feature shared by traditional culture, remediation – as Bolter and Grusin called it – has become a cornerstone of today’s entertainment system, especially of the new digital media. Within this system, the phenomenon of “transmedia storytelling” is pervasive, as a process by means of which “integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels” (Jenkins 2011, italics in the original).

A classic example of “transmedia storytelling” is a novel that is alternatively turned into a movie, a TV series, a graphic novel, a web series, a fan narrative through blogs and forums, a videogame, and so on (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, to mention two famous cases, have generated a number of such remediations). Adaptation studies, which in the past privileged the fiction-to-film discussions, have been obliged to come to terms with an increased availability of re-codifications, each characterized by different rules of functioning and modes of transforming the adapted text, according to the chosen medium. Adaptation theory cannot but tackle two typical aspects of the entertainment industry in the era of convergence culture: the further weakening of the hierarchy between original and adaptation and the widespread expectation of aesthetic experiences that are participative and interactive (Hutcheon 2013; Camden e Oestreich 2018).

Hoping for an in-depth dialogue between transmedia storytelling and adaptation studies, we welcome essays that look at a wide range of texts, contexts, and theoretical as well as methodological approaches. Addressed issues may include: - transmediation as product (a specific transcodification) and as process (an act of creative reinterpretation) - the impact of transmediation (and of a specific medium) on the work’s thematic and aesthetic economy - the relationship of transmediation with authorship and reception by an audience, with a possible focus on gender identifications - the influence of the production system involved in the use of a specific medium and of the rules that govern it.

Please send an abstract (no more than 300 words) by March 1 to anna.de-biasio@unibg.it and valeria.gennero@unibg.it.

Final essays, if accepted, must be received by June 15.