Introduction: All that is Solid Changes into Something Else
Contemporary culture is at present producing a bewildering array of texts and practices in which bodily transformation and the limits of bodies lie at the heart of what is being represented and staged. This volume explores a range of these phenomena in terms of what they might mean and how they are being enacted in the twenty-first century, in terms of both their practitioners and their readers. The “Body” section focuses on depictions of extreme or limit bodies and bodily practices, such as undead or alien bodies on the one hand, or bodies which skywalk dangerously, have permanent images carved into their skin, or who contest hegemonic male power via liminal bodily practices and performances. The “Text” section looks at the creative and commercial possibilities of source materials moving, unlike in the past generally from high to low status forms, but rather in all conceivable directions. The “Transformers” franchise has been the model for the sort of dynamic movement across digital platforms and in various media packages that we find today—in toys, games, publications, films, cartoons, fansites, tie-ins, even razors. New technologies and market-savvy globalised business interests are clearly driving this process. Samples of these transformations are examined in young adult and fan fiction, in big screen to small screen transfers, in that computer-based hybrid, the live-action animation, in movie-themed video games and in the way adaptation for video game and online formats affects the very nature of contemporary storytelling.
KeywordsBodies Adaptation Media studies Transformation Liminality
We would like to acknowledge the assistance and input in the realization of this project of Andreia Sarabando in particular, as well as Danuta Gabryś-Barker, Roger Davis, Jon Cornwall and Maria Teresa Cortez.