When trying to answer a simple question – what is art – one may come to realize that this question is, indeed, very tricky. At least the search for the answer is. The definition varies from one person to another – what one considers to be art someone else may see as trumpery, and vice versa. However, what can be agreed on is that art comes in all shapes and sizes and can be found in the most common of things. We only need to open our eyes and look for it.
It would not be an exaggeration to claim that all of us have experienced some type of adaptation during our lifetime already. People often go to the cinema to watch movies based on their favourite books, play games based on their favourite movies and then read books based on the games. Adaptation is an organic process of information modification, of text shaping and media exploration. But what it is, exactly? Why it is good to stay unfaithful to the source material? And why is interdisciplinarity so important today? Professor Kamilla Elliott, a leading scholar in the field of adaptation studies, was kind enough to provide answers for all these questions and many more!
Our hero lives in a small cottage somewhere in Warwickshire. He has to feed and clothe his old, grumpy parents together with his wife (eight years older) and their three children – a mopey teenager that only speaks in grunts and twins whose only interests are sweets. He commutes to London every week to work as an actor in a horribly understaffed company and when he snatches a bit of time for himself, he writes. Because, you know, he is a poet, an unappreciated genius of his time, an innovator of language… How is it possible that he is not famous yet? Well, his best friend steals his verses, his wife needs his humble wage as “she has a cottage to run”, his London servant Bottom makes fun of him but the worst of all – his nemesis publicly calls him an upstart crow. This could be anyone’s story, so why not William Shakespeare’s?
Although he is not leaving the department altogether, the fact that he is stepping down as head after 15 years definitely feels like the end of an era. That is why we decided to sit down with the former Head and current Deputy Head of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, find out more about his life, and take a peek at the many different sides of the man who has gone from doing the local paper delivery route in San Francisco suburbia to being in charge of one of the oldest English departments in the world.Read more
I don’t always receive emails inviting me to go to an active shooter training, but when I do, I attend it. (Un)fortunately, there are no actual guns or any weapons involved in this kind of training; rather, it is a dry presentation by the campus police at Texas A&M, where I am currently studying, on how to act in case of an active-shooter situation on campus. Rather than being a hands-on practice session on how to neutralize a threat, the seminar involves a brief, yet effective presentation of a triad of strategic principles in case of attack: run, hide, fight. Have an escape route, evacuate regardless of others’ decision to stay behind – that is the run part. Locking yourself in your office, staying out of the shooter’s line of sight, barricading the door, and spreading people around the room are sound hiding strategies. Fighting back, though – that is where the presentation turns into sobering reality. During the Q&A at the end, where educators around me ask how to protect not only themselves, but their students from a potential, but all-too-real threat of an active shooter on campus, the presenter acknowledges that fighting back, and not coming out alive, might be your only option. After all, as one of the Powerpoint slides states: the aim is to prepare both mentally and physically for what might come.Read more
In the last issue, Re: Views brought its readers detailed coverage of the Brexit campaign as an indecisive contest between the ‘inners’ and the ‘outers’. The referendum, held on June 23 2016, turned out to be a surprising exercise in democracy for Britain. Some 52 per cent voted to leave the European Union and steer the country toward a new destination. Its captain has already hopped off the sinking ship and the new one has seized the wheel. Where Britons are heading now, nobody exactly knows. Read more
“[Videogames are] any forms of computer-based entertainment software, either textual or image-based, using any electronic platform such as personal computers or consoles and involving one or multiple players in physical or networked environment” (Frasca in Newman 27).Read more
Many children worldwide have been told to “stop watching that filth!” by their parents after a dirty word has been uttered on screen. Many times a writer has received the draft of their new novel back from the publishers riddled with censorship notes whenever a character decided to speak their mind about a particularly nasty situation. There is, however a certain creative way to overcome this problem and that is to adapt.Read more
YouTube vlogger is the new dream job among teenagers (see for example here and here); in fact, over the past decade YouTubers have rapidly become prominent role models and their highly subjective advice is avidly sought after. The fan communities that have evolved around YouTube vloggers have proven not only to be eager consumers of audio-visual material but also dedicated readers of print books. Starting in late 2014 numerous books published by YouTubers have flooded the bestseller lists across the globe. The CEO of Simon & Schuster, Carolyn Reidy, has commented on this trend in Publisher’s Weekly: “YouTube authors draw [sic] new reader who, having seen the personalities on the web, want to own a small piece of them. Online videos are, by their nature, intangible; a printed book, on the other hand, is anything but.” Accordingly, I will explore the role of materiality and mediality in the interrelationship between YouTube videos and books. I will argue that the books YouTubers publish can be analyzed as adaptations, as well as transmedial expansions. I will be using Werner Wolf’s theory of intermediality in order to shed some light on certain specific adaptation processes. I will furthermore outline the relationship between YouTubers and their viewers, which will aid in the understanding the wide-spread trend of self-help books and videos. I will lastly provide a brief intermedial analysis focusing primarily on the audiobook versions of two such books.Read more
“You can study that?” is usually the first question I get whenever I mention my current postgraduate programme to anybody. “Of course you can,” I reply. “And what city is better to study festival management than Edinburgh, right?”