Tracking The History of Adaptation
Published in 2020 by the Ohio State University Press, “Transmedia Adaptation in the Nineteenth Century” was written by Lissette Lopez Szwydky. She is the associate director of the Arkansas Humanity Center and an associate professor of English. In her book, professor Szwydky delves into over 200 years of history, looking for the roots of adaptation-based entertainment. The book touches on a number of writers, artists, producers, and adapters to explain why so many productions today are based on other, older works.
This is done by using examples such as Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and the numerous reworks and spinoffs it’s seen throughout the years. The book also talks about a number of other famous writers whose works have seen many adaptations, such as the works of Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Victor Hugo, and many others. Numerous nineteenth-century visual artists, like Julia Margaret Cameron and William Blake, are also discussed.
Szwydky’s Work and Contributions
Szwydky’s book explains how adaptation has taken many forms and set roots in film, media, literature, parodies, illustrations, and the commercial industries that have supported them. English Department Chair William Quinn applauded professor Szwydky’s achievement and sees the potential in her ongoing multimedia research to be a great contribution to cultural studies.
In addition to teaching a variety of interesting courses for the English Department at the University of Arkansas, Szwydky is co-directing a summer institute titled “Remaking Monsters and Heroines: Adapting Classic Literature for Contemporary Audiences”, and working on a book titled “Frankenstein’s Bride: A Transmedia Cultural History of Her Own”, among other notable projects.