ENGL 345 A: Studies In Film

Adaptation: From Literature to Film

Meeting Time: 
M
Location: 
MGH
SLN: 
13856
Instructor:
Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges
Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges

Syllabus Description:

Adaptation: From Literature to Film

The term “adaptation” describes the translation of a text from one form into another. For some readers, texts lose much in the transition, with adaptations failing to equal their sources’ quality. However, in a Darwinian sense, adaptation allows organisms to endure environmental shifts. This alternate view suggests that, in the words of Robert Stam, adaptations “help their source[s] . . . ‘survive’ . . . changing environments and changing tastes . . .” (3). This class examines the theory and practice of cinematic adaptation. Our investigation will move beyond limited comparisons of “good” originals and “bad adaptations.” Instead, we will focus on the dialogue between multiple versions of the same story, asking how and why film adaptations modify their sources in a particular manner. 

To do so, we will examine adaptations from around the globe, beginning with multiple versions of Hamlet, Frankenstein, and Batman, among other texts, and concluding with films from the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival. The first seven weeks of the course will take place on campus; the final three weeks will blend online and face-to-face instruction to accommodate SIFF screening times.

Additional Details:

English 345
Adaptation: From Literature to Film

The term “adaptation” describes the translation of a text from one form into another. For some readers, texts lose much in the transition, with adaptations failing to equal their sources’ quality. However, in a Darwinian sense, adaptation allows organisms to endure environmental shifts. This alternate view suggests that, in the words of Robert Stam, adaptations “help their source[s] . . . ‘survive’ . . . changing environments and changing tastes . . .” (3). This class examines the theory and practice of cinematic adaptation. Our investigation will move beyond limited comparisons of “good” originals and “bad adaptations.” Instead, we will focus on the dialogue between multiple versions of the same story, asking how and why film adaptations modify their sources in a particular manner.

To do so, we will examine adaptations from around the globe, beginning with multiple versions of Hamlet, Frankenstein, and Batman, among other texts, and concluding with films from the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival. The first seven weeks of the course will take place on campus; the final three weeks will blend online and face-to-face instruction to accommodate SIFF screening times.

Catalog Description: 
Types, techniques, and issues explored by filmmakers. Emphasis on narrative, image, and point of view.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:20am