Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Nico Dicecco looking for collaborators in adaptation studies

April 05, 2012
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Guest post by Nico Dicecco, PhD student, Department of English. (Send us your guest post.)

What happens when an autodidactic pop-culture nerd wants to procrastinate from his doctoral work? Well, I suppose a lot of things could happen. I decided to teach myself some basic web-design skills and put together a site related to my hobbies.

My name, by the way, is Nico Dicecco. I spend most of my time working on a PhD in English. My "official" research is about adaptations: you know, when novels get made into films. But as with anything, of course, it's a lot more complicated than just novels and films. Sometimes comic books get adapted, sometimes video games, theatre, theme park rides (Pirates of the Caribbean), even merchandise (Bratz, GI Joe, Transformers). I won't go on, but suffice to say, it only gets more complicated from there.

So what is the "unofficial" research (ie. hobbies) that inspired me to build a website? Okay, still just adaptations. But in this case my interest wasn't so much in doing research and publishing articles as it was in bringing together a community of people interested in the same topic.

Sure, there are a few journals in my field (Literature Film Quarterly, Adaptation in Film and Performance, and the simply titled Adaptation. And there are also a few annual conferences (the Literature Film Association and the Association of Adaptation Studies). And all of these provide avenues for people interested in adaptations to connect. But what we don't have is a dedicated community portal: a place for scholars to connect with one another, for students new to adaptation studies to learn the basics, and for people to share the sort of work that doesn't get shared at conferences and in academic journals.

So my colleague, Dennis Cutchins, and I conspired to start something. He agreed to pay for the web hosting, and I — confident that I could do anything I set my mind to — agreed to learn HTML, CSS, and graphic design.

On a related note, if anyone reading this blog is proficient in HTML, CSS and graphic design, I know a website that could really use some touching up. Maybe a logo. Volunteers? Anyone?

Our website (www.adaptationstudies.org) is still a work in progress. But it's a very promising one. The editor of Literature Film Quarterly has expressed a lot of interest in collaborating with us, and we are just beginning to put out our first call for submissions.

If you're interested, by the way, please think about writing something for the site! I may be working out of the English department, but adaptation studies is by necessity an interdisciplinary field. Whether you're interested in fan culture or political economy of media, representations of race and gender or a cognitive science approach to interpretation, and so on and so on, I'd love to hear from you!

I guess my point is this: grad students in different departments don't get a lot of chances to work together. But I'd really like to work on changing that. So, if you're interested in media and media culture, but you're not sure if your approach will fit with adaptationstudies.org, don't worry! We'll find a way to adapt. ;-)

p.s. I'm serious about volunteers to help with logo and web design... that stuff is hard to just pick up! My email is ndicecco@sfu.ca.

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