CFP: From Text to Screen and Back to Text. Film and Literature, the Portuguese Context | Deadline 15th September

The theme of literary adaptation to the screen has always been a great academic catalyst, appealing to various disciplines, from film, to literary, to post-colonial, to translation, and to media and communication studies. Indeed, this broad spectrum of interest has made for very productive and multidisciplinary research.

Letters from War, by film director Ivo Ferreira, a recent adaptation from the homonymous novel by writer António Lobo Antunes, has highlighted how film adaptations of literary works can lead to different theoretical readings. For this discussion, it is important to bring to the forefront two distinct schools of thought: on the one hand, such key authors as André Bazin and Joy Boyoum, who advocate a screen adaptation that is “true” to the work it is inspired by; and, on the other, theoreticians and film critics such as Neil SinyardPatrick CattrysseHenry BaconJeanne-Marie Clerc and Monique Carcaud-Macaire, who defend the film work as a new object in its own right.

In this context, it is relevant to mention the nuances and variations in artistic meaning created by the film adaptation of international literature. Such as in the work of Portuguese filmmaker João Botelho, who has adapted both Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet. Or Michel Van der Aa, who has also adapted Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet. Or the adaptation of José Saramago’s oeuvre by several international filmmakers. Can we read the impact of nationality in film adaptation.

In this dialogue around film and literature, it is also crucial to investigate the indents film has been making on Portuguese literature. Can we trace how and to what extent the cinema has influenced Portuguese literary works? And can we speak of a film-centric Portuguese literary period or school?

This conference will focus on the challenges, possibilities and multidisciplinary aspects arising from and related to the field of interaction between literature and film in a Portuguese context. We welcome proposals for papers and presentations that explore the following themes from a broad range of viewpoints and approaches, by researchers and practitioners, as well as by practice-based researchers.

Submissions may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • The relationship between the book, time and film.
  • Film influences in Portuguese literature.
  • The imagined audience. The reasons for literary adaptation.
  • How do book adaptations engage cinema goers and on what levels?
  • Literary adaptation to film and the ideology of the moment
  • From ‘text’ to film: the aura of the writer
  • Portuguese literature’s influence in and translation to the visual arts

Scholars and researchers from all related academic and practice-based fields and are invited to submit proposals.
The conference will be held in English.
Submission deadline: Friday 15 September 2017.
Participants will be notified by Friday 29 September 2017

Scholars and researchers wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of 20 minutes (max.) are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract (300-350 words), 5 key bibliographical references, 5 keywords and a short biography (100-150 words) to the following email:


Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture (King´s College, London) and Utopia – UK Portuguese Film Festival

Conference Committee

Ana Bela Morais (Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa)
Ana Medeiros (King’s College, University of London)
Catherine Boyle (King’s College, University of London)
Catarina Fouto (King’s College, University of London)
Érica Faleiro Rodrigues (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Filipa Rosário (Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa)
Helder Macedo (Emeritus Professor at King’s College, University of London)
João Paulo Silvestre  (King’s College, University of London)

Project supported by: Instituto Camões, Portugal