• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English, Literature, Film

Cinematic adaptations of novels have dominated the box office and film industry awards for some decades, often provoking fierce debate about their fidelity, or otherwise, to the original; discussions about how the  text has been transformed, cut and downright ruined, or, conversely, how the film has 'rescued' the novel, making it seem interesting and worth reading in a new context.
This course examines a series of novels together with their film adaptations, in order to understand the differences between films and novels as modes of storytelling; examine the way the novel and its adaptation participate in debates unique to their own historical contexts; and analyse the anxieties about literary and cultural value exposed by adaptations of novels. We will ask: how do film adaptations generate new meanings from novels today? Should a film seek only to imitate the novel or can it also transform, reconceptualise and critique it? What role do the market and the audience play in generating new meanings from texts? And can the relationship between novel and film adaptation be understood as mutually dependent?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon  successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Analyse, discuss and write critically about a range of  novels and the key cultural debates in which they participate.
  2. Analyse, discuss and write critically about a range of film and/or television adaptations of novels and the key cultural debates in which they participate.
  3. Recognise, interpret and critically evaluate the ways in which literary texts and their visual adaptations both emerge from and contribute to their literary, historical and cultural contexts.
  4. Understand and critically evaluate influential theories of adaptation and utilise these in analyses of adaptations.
  5. Understand and successfully deploy a range of terms and concepts integral to literary studies.

Indicative Assessment

2,000 word essay (30%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
2,500 word essay (40%).%).[LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
1,000 word critical analysis (20%) [LO 2, 5]
Tutorial participation (10%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2067.

Preliminary Reading

Prescribed texts may include:
Ian McEwan, Atonement
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
E. M. Forster, A Room with a View
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Bram Stoker, Dracula
Annie Proulx, 'Brokeback Mountain'

The following films will be screened during the semester and are available in the Chifley library. Students may want to obtain copies of those on which they intend to write essays, but this is not essential:
Joe Wright (dir), Atonement (2007).
Julien Duvivier (dir.), Anna Karenina (1948).
Bernard Rose (dir.), Leo Tolstoi’s Anna Karenina (1997).
Joe Wright (dir.), Anna Karenina (2012).
James Ivory (dir.), A Room with a View (1986).
Oliver Parker (dir.), Dorian Gray (2009).
Ang Lee (dir.), Brokeback Mountain (2005).
Francis Ford Coppola (dir.) Bram Stoker's Dracula

There will also be a reading brick on Wattle containing critical material.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9855 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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