The Pop Culture Lens: Episode 11 – Captain Midnight

The Pop Culture Lens is a podcast that offers fresh perspectives on past media. This episode looks at classic pulp hero Captain Midnight through the lenses of transmedia storytelling and adaptation.

The Pop Culture Lens is a scholarly podcast hosted by myself and Dr. CarrieLynn Reinhard of Dominican University. In each episode, we seek to offer fresh perspectives on past media as we attempt to determine whether or not it holds any relevance to the contemporary sociocultural experience. We structure the podcast so the format loosely resembles an academic paper, but we present the information in a way that everyone can understand.

Continue reading “The Pop Culture Lens: Episode 11 – Captain Midnight”

The Pop Culture Lens: Episode 6 – The X-Files (1993-2002)

The Pop Culture Lens is a scholarly podcast hosted by myself and Dr. CarrieLynn Reinhard of Dominican University. In each episode, we seek to offer fresh perspectives on past media as we attempt to determine whether or not it holds any relevance to the contemporary sociocultural experience. We structure the podcast so the format loosely resembles an academic paper, but we present the information in a way that everyone can understand.

Continue reading “The Pop Culture Lens: Episode 6 – The X-Files (1993-2002)”

Oldboy: A case study in intercultural adaptation theory

This post is based on a paper I wrote for Dr. Blair Davis‘ class on Adaptation during the Spring 2014 quarter at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. The purpose of this assignment is to “Choose any media text (I.e. film, comic book, novel, radio or television program, etc.) that is an adaptation of a text from another medium. You may choose a text from any era or country, but it must be based upon something from another medium (I.e. don’t choose a film that re-envisions another film, for instance). For example, the H.G. Wells novel War of the Worlds has been adapted as a 1938 radio program, a 1952 film and a 2005 film, and either of these three adaptations might be examined in relation to the source text.” Therefore, I decided to look at how the various versions of Oldboy can be used as a case study to reconsider existing adaptation theories in relation to the phenomenon of cross-cultural adaptation, which is becoming increasingly common in the globalized world of the 21st century. BE WARNED: there are major spoilers for all three versions of Oldboy here, so if you have not seen/read them and want to remain unspoiled going in, you might want to skip this post. Otherwise, I welcome any and all feedback, so please feel free to join the conversation on adaptation by leaving a comment in the comments section. Thank you.

INTRODUCTION

The phenomenon of intercultural adaptation has become a common practice in the increasingly globalized world of the 21st century.1 In the contemporary transnational media landscape, many adaptations not only represent material that has been transposed from one medium to another, but also from one cultural or national context to another. With increasing regularity, a source text that originates in one specific context will often yield an adaptation generated within a completely different context.2 Therefore, intercultural adaptations illustrate the need to reconsider existing adaptation theories to address notions of cultural specificity. Indeed, many of the current canonical adaptation theories are rooted in literary theory, and tend to focus on the idea of fidelity and whether or not the adaptation functions as a faithful recreation of the source text. Soo Jung Hong, however, argues that when considering adaptations in a transcultural or transnational context, it is often more important to focus on representations of tone in relation to the different cultural contexts involved in the adaptation and whether or not it reflects or highlights any sort of commonly shared cultural values.3 Hong writes that “fidelity of the adapted text can be a possible standard measuring the cultural implications a text is generating as a product in a cultural community.”4 In other words, while the theories that currently comprise much of the scholarship surrounding the phenomenon of adaptation remain relevant and useful for considering notions of fidelity, they nevertheless must be reconsidered to take into account the cultural and national contexts that frequently define adaptations in the increasingly globalized 21st century.

Continue reading “Oldboy: A case study in intercultural adaptation theory”

Considering Adaptation Theories in the Globalized 21st Century

This post is based on a paper I wrote for Dr. Blair Davis‘ class on Adaptation during the Spring 2014 quarter at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. The purpose of this assignment is to “critically analyze in essay form the work of several adaptation theorists, in order to demonstrate [an] understanding of the phenomenon of adaptation as well as the evolving theoretical tradition surrounding it.” Therefore, I applied the work of three adaptation theorists to the phenomenon of cross-cultural adaptation, which is becoming increasingly common in the globalized world of the 21st century. I welcome any and all feedback, so please feel free to join the conversation on adaptation by leaving a comment in the comments section. Thank you.

Fidelity and Cultural Codes in Cross-Cultural Adaptations: The Consideration of Adaptation Theories in the Globalized 21st Century

This paper considers how various adaptation theories regarding cross-media adaptations can and should be applied to the study of cross-cultural adaptations, particularly when considering the increasingly globalized and mediated world of the 21st century. I contend that cross-cultural adaptations often negotiate many of the same tensions experienced in arguments surrounding the fidelity of an adaptation to the source material, both in adapting a property or story from one medium to another, as well as adapting it from one culture to another. This idea becomes important when considering that globalization has had a profound impact upon the very idea of adaptation, due to an increasing number of cross-cultural adaptations and/or translations which prove that the practice of adapting a property from one culture to another is now the norm rather than the exception, and has been a factor in cross-media adaptations for some time.1 Thus, it is important to understand how current adaptation theories apply to adaptations across cultures as well as across various media. Therefore, in this paper, I draw upon Thomas Leitch’s notion of fidelity in the context of literary adaptation, Guerric Debona’s argument regarding the cultural politics of film adaptation, and Timothy Corrigan’s discussion of the value of art in the relationship of an original to its adaptation, and I apply these arguments to the idea of cross-cultural adaptations in a global context.2

Continue reading “Considering Adaptation Theories in the Globalized 21st Century”