My colleague Mary Ellen Iatropoulos (co-editor of the recent volume Joss Whedon and Race) is organizing a session at the March 2017 meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Baltimore, Maryland, focusing on questions of what is canon in comics, film, and television.
“Transmedia Storytelling: Questioning Canon in 21st-Century Popular Culture Narratives” considers how shifts between comics, film, and television affect authorship and interpretation of stories, around what is considered canon among readers and fans.
Examples abound in recent adaptations of comics for television and film, as well as continuations of films and television in comic book format. There is the continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the debates as to whether these texts are considered official continuations of the story began on television, as well as continuations of Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse, and comics-only prequels to Mad Max: Fury Road and the J. J. Abrams Star Trek films.
Related topics may consider how recent adaptations of United States comics for film and television alter what is considered canon in the original comics, as with DC and Marvel’s numerous adaptations, including Supergirl, Preacher, Suicide Squad, and Jessica Jones.
As well, in Japanese comics, there are considerable debates among fans–and academics–regarding the canonical status of anime that diverge sharply from their source material, before new adaptations emerged that were more faithful to the original text. Such was the case of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, whose initial anime adaptation in 2003 diverging so much from the manga that a later adaptation, Brotherhood, was produced and considered by some to be more accurate.
Submissions may also consider the place of films that are based on entirely new content with limited involvement by the original mangaka, such as One Piece, or cinematic continuations that alter the original story substantially, such as the transition of Madoka Magica from television to film.
Abstracts and short bios are due September 30, 2016, at this direct link to NeMLA’s CFP List web site: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16416
Please consider forwarding the following CFP to any colleagues who may be interested in this session. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Transmedia Storytelling: Questioning Canon in 21st-century Popular Culture Narratives”
Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, Maryland, March 23-26, 2017
Deadline: September 30, 2016
More information: Mary Ellen Iatropoulos, email@example.com
Description: How does transmedia storytelling inform and influence contemporary understandings of the relationships between medium, auteur, canon, and fandom? When both fans and creators are “creating” meaning out of transmedia texts, what counts as canon – as the “real” character or story? By what criteria and to what critical end is such a judgment made, and to whom do we grant the right to make such judgments? This panel session seeks proposals that explore the often-vexed but equally-often fruitful relationships between readers, writers, auteurs and fans in the world of 21st-century popular culture narratives.