So, the most significant thing this week is that I turned in the first drafted chapter of my thesis! It's actually not the first chronological chapter--I'll probably be writing that last; it's a chapter from the body and will probably chapter 3 of 4. It ended up being about 18 pages long and just over 6,000 words. I can't believe it's there. actually there. on the page. There were many times this spring and summer where I looked at many aspects of my life and thought "I don't know how I'm gonna make it..." I definitely wondered how I could possibly do the necessary research and write this chapter. But here it is. I don't know if it's any good yet, but it's here :) I'll be meeting with my adviser next week and hopefully will have some good feedback because...
That chapter is doing double-duty as a conference paper next month, PAMLA. I've already shared my paper proposal on here, but the official schedule has come out and I now have the link to the comparative media panel I'm on! I am also super grateful to have won their (small, but significant) graduate student scholarship. One can kind of wonder if they were accepted to a panel just because there was no one else applying, but this wonderful honor makes me feel like they actually want me there, which is lovely!
This week I also heard back from a similar proposal I made for an adaptation panel at the Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA). Their national conference is in March and it's in Seattle, plus this particular conference is almost like an academic conference meets a fan convention - so I reeeally wanted to present at this conference. Well...I'm in! The panel chair sent such an encouraging email and I'm so looking forward to attending in the Spring. Here was my PCA/ACA proposal:
“Novel” Media: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Horizontal Adaptation
This paper explores the definition of adaptation as a horizontal, formal move by looking at The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This Emmy-award winning, transmedia retelling of Pride and Prejudice set as a vlog in modern day California—told in “real-time” across platforms including YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr—provokes questions about our framework for adaptation.
Until now, most adaptation theory has been defined in the vertical terms of “layering texts” or of “palimpsest.” While the vertical is significant, this paper argues for a definition of adaptation that include the horizontal dimension, that of narrative’s historical continuum. Bolter and Grusin refer to new media as “refashioned…versions of other media” (Remediation 14). For new media adaptations, they refashion, thereby reclaiming the novels that inspired them. They repurpose the novel forms of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as fictional autobiographies and epistolary or serialized novels. This allows us to re-experience both the plot and what was once an emerging, “novel” media.
Just as Austen’s novel was not only arguing for proto-feminism and against classism but also for the very form of the novel, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is not merely making claims about female friendships or stereotyping but that adaptation through transmedia is a valid form, participating in what John Fiske refers to as “culture making” and Robert Stam calls an “ongoing dialogical process.” As a new avenue for adaptation opens, it sheds light on the horizontal facet of adaptation.So grateful for every chance I get to dialogue through these intriguing questions. Here's to many more conversations about Jane Austen :)