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Title: The in-between : film adaptation, Irish cinema and diaspora
Author: McFadden, Emmie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 6906
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis draws on Film Adaptation Studies and Irish Diaspora Studies, two interdisciplinary fields that are fundamentally concerned with the concept of 'origin'. It focuses specifically on the notion of the 'unacknowledged adaptation', namely films that do not declare formally their status as adaptations. In terms of Irish Diaspora Studies, my interest lies in the phenomenon of the 'hidden' Irish diaspora in England. This thesis will offer a new perspective on the significance of the 'unacknowledged adaptation' by creating a parallel between a film's ambiguous enunciation of its sources and the ambivalent national identity of its characters. Drawing on critical methodologies from film adaptation studies, postcolonial studies, and diaspora studies, I seek to create a rigorous analytical framework for exploring the notion of the 'hidden' Irish diaspora in the 'unacknowledged adaptation'. This framework specifically combines the theories of postcolonial and diasporic theorist, Homi Bhabha (1994) and film adaptation theorist, Kamilla Elliott (2003), each of whom respectively undermines claims of pure cultural identities and aesthetic forms in order to foreground the notion of 'hybridity'. Combining the theories of Elliott and Bhabha not only enhances discussions on hybridity, but it also enables the recognition of a process of adaptation and of diasporic identities that would otherwise be left unacknowledged. Focusing on three case studies, Mary Reilly (dir. Stephen Frears, 1996), Liam (dir. Stephen Frears, 2001), and Breakfast on Pluto (dir. Neil Jordan, 2005), this thesis argues that the obscuring of origins in these films not only paradoxically draws attention to the act of adaptation, but it also serves to highlight themes of diaspora. I argue that the cultural hybridity evoked in the film adaptations is specifically signalled through word/image hybridity: the syntactical relationship between the word and the image enables the emergence of a liminal space 'in-between' the designations of identity, thus creating a hybrid dialectic that functions to draw attention to the act of concealing origins.
Supervisor: Spiedel, Suzanne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available