This talk traces the proliferation of Oz sequels, adaptations, and remakes within the context of an overarching theory of popular seriality. It concentrates on L. Frank Baum's series of novels (1900-1920), the MGM movie production (1939), the Disney sequel Return to Oz (1985), and the musical The Wiz (1978). I will argue that there are two ways in which remakes, adaptations, and sequels can become fruitful objects of cultural analysis: by gauging these texts for the information they provide about historical change and by paying attention to the dynamics of popular serialization itself.
Frank Kelleter is Chair of the Department of Culture and Einstein Professor of North American Cultural History at John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin. His main fields of interest include the American colonial and Enlightenment periods, theories of American modernity, and the American media and popular culture since the 19th century. More information about him can be found here.