• 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 Cultural Studies, English, Film
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Cinematic adaptations of novels, short stories and plays 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 critically 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, plays, film and other visual media as modes of storytelling; investigate 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?

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. research, analyse, discuss and write critically about a range of novels and the key cultural debates in which they participate;
  2. research, analyse, discuss and write critically about a range of screen adaptations of novels and the key cultural debates in which they participate;
  3. research, 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; and
  5. understand and successfully deploy a range of terms and concepts integral to literary and screen studies.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Essay One (2500 words) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Essay Two (2500 words) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. In-class activities (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 48 hours of contact: 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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

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

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Linda Hutcheon, A theory of Adaptation.
A range of novels/short stories/graphic novels.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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