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Rethinking Adaptation

Emotions, Evolution, and Climate Change

Debra J. Davidson

Understanding that climate change poses considerable threats for social systems, to which we must adapt in order to survive, social responses to climate change should be viewed in the context of evolution, which entails the variation, selection, and retention of information. Digging deeper into evolutionary theory, however, emotions play a surprisingly prominent role in adaptation. This article offers an explicitly historical, nondirectional conceptualization of our potential evolutionary pathways in response to climate change. Emotions emerge from the intersection of culture and biology to guide the degree of variation of knowledge to which we have access, the selection of knowledge, and the retention of that knowledge in new (or old) practices. I delve into multiple fields of scholarship on emotions, describing several important considerations for understanding social responses to climate change: emotions are shared, play a central role in decision-making, and simultaneously derive from past evolutionary processes and define future evolutionary processes.

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Adaptation--Genuine and Spurious

Demystifying Adaptation Processes in Relation to Climate Change

Thomas F. Thornton and Nadia Manasfi

In climate change discourse and policy, adaptation has become a critical byword and frame of reference. An implicit assumption in much of the strategizing is the notion that adaptation can be rationally planned, funded, and governed largely through existing frameworks. But can adaptation really be managed or engineered, especially given the significant unpredictability and severe impacts that are forecast in a range of climate scenarios? Over millennia, successful societies have adapted to climate shifts, but evidence suggests that this was often accomplished only through wide-ranging reorganization or the institution of new measures in the face of extreme environmental stress. This essay critically examines the concept of human adaptation by dividing it into eight fundamental processes and viewing each in a broad cultural, ecological, and evolutionary context. We focus our assessment especially on northern indigenous peoples, who exist at the edges of present-day climate governance frameworks but at the center of increasingly acute climate stress.

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The state, race, and immigrant adaptation

A comparative analysis of the Korean diaspora in Japan and the United States

Kazuko Suzuki

English abstract: What accounts for varying forms of adaptation of immigrants to host countries? Despite their common ethnic origin, Korean immigrants demonstrate very different adaptation patterns in Japan and the United States. By elucidating the importance of different national peculiarities in racial ideology, this article argues that Korean immigrants are racialized differently given different circumstances and structural conditions in these two countries. Employing a cross-national comparison focusing on a single ethnic group, this study shows that cultural and racial similarities between immigrants and the mainstream of the host society do not guarantee smooth assimilation. This article concludes that in the long run, differences in modes of incorporation are more relevant to immigrant adaptation than visible racial or cultural differences between the immigrants and the mainstream of the host society.

Spanish abstract: ¿Cómo se explican las diversas formas de adaptación de inmigrantes en los países receptores? A pesar de su origen étnico común, los inmigrantes coreanos han mostrado patrones de adaptación muy diferentes en Japón y los Estados Unidos. Al mostrar la importancia de las diferentes peculiaridades nacionales en la ideología racial, este artículo argumenta que los inmigrantes coreanos son racializados diferencialmente de acuerdo a las distintas circunstancias y las condiciones estructurales en estos dos países. A través de una comparación transnacional centrada en un solo grupo étnico, este estudio muestra que las similitudes raciales y culturales entre los inmigrantes y la mayoría de la sociedad de acogida, no garantizan una fácil asimilación. En este artículo se concluye que, en el largo plazo, las diferencias en los modos de incorporación son más relevantes para la adaptación de los inmigrantes que las visibles diferencias raciales / culturales entre los inmigrantes y la generalidad de la sociedad receptora.

French abstract: Comment expliquer les formes variables de l'adaptation des immigrants dans le pays hôte ? En dépit de leur origine ethnique commune, les immigrants coréens ont montré des modes d'adaptation très différents au Japon et aux Etats-Unis. En montrant l'importance de certaines particularités nationales pour l'idéologie raciale, cet article soutient que ces immigrants coréens sont racialement différenciés en fonction des situations et des conditions structurelles différentes dans ces deux pays. Par le biais d'une comparaison transnationale portant sur un seul groupe ethnique, ce e étude montre que les similarités culturelles et raciales entre les immigrants et la société-hôte traditionnelle ne sont pas les garantes d'une assimilation aisée. Cet article conclut que, sur le long-terme, les modes d'incorporation sont plus importants pour l'adaptation des immigrants que les différences raciales/culturelles visibles entre les immigrants et la société traditionnelle de l'Etat-hôte.

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Fidelity versus Appropriation in Comics Adaptation

Jacques Carelman's and Clément Oubrerie's Zazie dans le métro

Armelle Blin-Rolland

Raymond Queneau's 1959 novel Zazie dans le métro has been adapted into two text/image versions, by Jacques Carelman in 1966 and by Clément Oubrerie in 2008. Carelman's version is strongly inscribed in the fidelity discourse, while Oubrerie advocates a process of complete appropriation of the source text by the adapter. This article will explore how the three interrelated aspects of approach to adaptation, text/image combination and readership and reader's experience, shape the transposition of the source text into two strikingly different text/image versions by Carelman and Oubrerie. Focusing on the transposition of the literary voices of the source text, it will discuss the differing manners in which the adapters use the specificity of their chosen medium to make the characters of Zazie dans le métro speak in text and image to their new readers.

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Adaptation Lived as a Story

Why We Should Be Careful about the Stories We Use to Tell Other Stories

Nicole Klenk

Within the field of climate change adaptation research, “stories” are usually simply mined for data, developed as communication and engagement technologies, and used to envision different futures. But there are other ways of understanding people’s narratives. This article explores how we can move away from understanding stories as cultural constructs that represent a reality and toward understanding them as the way in which adaptation is lived. The article investigates questions such as the following: As climate adaptation researchers, what can and should we do when we are told unsolicited stories? How can storytelling, as a way of life rather than as a source of data, inform and elaborate scientific approaches to adaptation research and planning? In this article, I move away from the literature that seeks to develop narrative methods in adaptation science. Instead, I focus on stories that we do not elicit and the world-making practice of storytelling.

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Paisley Livingston

This article explores basic constraints on the nature and appreciation of cinematic adaptations. An adaptation, it is argued, is a work that has been intentionally based on a source work and that faithfully and overtly imitates many of this source's characteristic features, while diverging from it in other respects. Comparisons between an adaptation and its source(s) are essential to the appreciation of adaptations as such. In spite of many adaptation theorists' claims to the contrary, some of the comparisons essential to the appreciation of adaptations as such pertain to various kinds of fidelity and to the ways in which similar types of artistic goals and problems are taken up in an adaptation and its source(s).

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Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation

Perspectives from a Century of Water Resources Development

Clive Agnew and Philip Woodhouse

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the influential Stern Report both reinforce the warming of the earth's climate system. The alarming environmental, social, and economic consequences of this trend call for immediate action from individuals, institutions, and governments. This article identifies parallels between the problem of adaptive management presented by climate change and an earlier 'global water crisis'. It explores how adaptive strategies have successively emphasized three different principles, based on science, economics, and politics/institutions. The article contends that the close association between climate change and water resources development enables a comparative analysis to be made between the strategies that have been adopted for the latter over the last 100 years. It argues that the experience of water resources development suggests a strong interdependence between the three principles and concludes that conceptualizing them as different dimensions of a single governance framework is necessary to meet the challenge of climate change adaptation.

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The Merchant ON Venice [Boulevard, Los Angeles], Chicago, 2007

Universalizing Shakespeare’s Play after the Holocaust

Michael Shapiro

Productions, adaptations and spinoffs of The Merchant of Venice since 1945 generally employ one of four strategies: continuing, historicizing, decentring and universalizing. Continuing means following nineteenth-century English productions in making Shylock a sympathetic outsider. Immigrant Shylocks still appear on English-speaking stages, but often seem sentimentalized and anachronistic. Historicizing means making the play reflect historical circumstances, such as the Holocaust, so that Shylock, however sharp-edged, automatically attracts sympathy. Decentring means making Jessica’s story at least as important as Shylock’s. Many recent productions and prose adaptations explore Jessica’s plight as immigrant’s daughter, belle juive, forlorn wife or remorseful child. Universalizing means mapping the play’s Jewish-Christian conflict onto other racial, religious or ethnic antagonisms, as in The Merchant ON Venice, about a Muslim ‘Shylock’ and his Hindu neighbours in Los Angeles.

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Özlem Özmen

Julia Pascal’s The Yiddish Queen Lear, a dramatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, merges racial identity politics with gender politics as the play both traces the history of the Yiddish theatre and offers a feminist criticism of Shakespeare’s text. The use of Lear as a source text for a play about Jews illustrates that contemporary Jewish engagements with Shakespeare are more varied than reinterpretations of The Merchant of Venice. Identity politics are employed in Pascal’s manifestation of the problematic relationship between Lear and his daughters in the form of a conflict between the play’s protagonist Esther, who struggles to preserve the tradition of the Yiddish theatre, and her daughters who prefer the American cabaret. Gender politics are also portrayed with Pascal’s use of a strong woman protagonist, which contributes to the feminist criticism of Lear as well as subverting the stereotypical representation of the domestic Jewish female figure in other dramatic texts.

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A French Comic Version of an Argentinian Fantastic Narrative

Jean Pierre Mourey's L'Invention de Morel

Matthias Hausmann

In 1940, Adolfo Bioy Casares published La Invención de Morel [The Invention of Morel], a novel that can be considered as one of the most important works of twentieth-century Argentinian fantastic narrative. Since the novel portrays competition between different media, it is not surprising that this work has been adapted to several other media: visual arts, plays, opera, and several feature films, the first and still the best known being L'Année dernière à Marienbad [Last year in Marienbad] (1961). The latest incarnation of La Invención de Morel is the first comic version, created by Jean Pierre Mourey (2007). This article discusses Mourey's adaptation of the novel and the specific possibilities of the comic genre. Special attention will be paid to the conception of time, the manipulation of various media, and the competition between the written word and images which are at the heart of Bioy's novel, and the extent to which the French cartoonist's rendering of these aspects of the work is successful.