Cinematic adaptations of novels and short stories 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. The proliferation of YouTube, Facebook and multimodal adaptations in recent years has only reignited and reformulated these discussions.
This course examines a series of texts together with their adaptations on to different kinds of screens, in order to understand the differences between novels, short stories, film and other visual media as modes of storytelling; examine the way the written text and its adaptation participate in debates unique to their own historical contexts; and analyse the anxieties about literary and cultural value exposed by adaptations. We will ask: how do screen adaptations generate new meanings from literary texts today? Should an adaptation seek only to imitate the text 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 text and adaptation be understood as mutually dependent?
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:
- analyse, discuss and write critically about a range of literary texts and the key cultural debates in which they participate;
- examine, discuss and write critically about a range of screen adaptations of novels and the key cultural debates in which they participate;
- recognise, interpret and evaluate the ways in which literary texts and their visual adaptations both emerge from and contribute to their literary, historical and cultural contexts; and
- understand influential theories of adaptation and be able to utilise these in analyses of adaptations.
Indicative AssessmentEssay One, 2000 words (35%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Essay Two, 2500 words (55%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Tutorial participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 48 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, 12 hours of tutorials, and 12 hours of screening time; and
b) 82 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Linda Hutcheon, A theory of Adaptation.
A range of novels/short stories/graphic novels.
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