Accepted Paper:

A medieval oral legend from India: its new global reach via graphic novels and animated TV broadcasts  
Brenda Beck (University of Toronto)

Paper short abstract:

A Canadian Anthropologist has recently re-told a medieval oral legend from India, employing modern animation and graphic novel formats. The paper compares audience reaction to this work in India and in Canada, places where this 13 hour story was broadcast, versus sharing the books in Poland via six University lectures.

Paper long abstract:

A medieval legend from India has just traveled around the globe, thanks to its re-telling by a Canadian anthropologist. The story was animated in a 13 hour double series for TV by an Indian artist, grandson of a traditional teller, and recently written down in book form as a set of graphic novels. There is even an ipad ap and a digital game. This work has only been available for six months but already many audiences are providing their reactions, particularly in settings where it is currently running on TV. In addition the story is being taught at the third and the sixth grade level to Diaspora students in Canada, and is about to be used by a high school teacher in Chennai, India. Several university faculty have adapted the legend for course work and a series of university lectures was recently delivered in Poland during an invited four-city tour there. This paper will compare the interest expressed in different aspects of the story by these multiple audiences and it will also chart the educational direction this entire project is now headed in. This is a multi-media undertaking with wide cultural implications for blending traditional and modern perspectives, both within India and around the globe. Cross-cultural sharing and a universal fascination with “the other” are both playing a part in this venture. The author, herself, will be the speaker and small excerpts used in the TV series will be shared with attendees.

Panel P019
Writing across borders: textual mediation and collaboration in an interconnected world