Adaptation of Literature for Film: Tales about Human Nature (online) [***]

ENGLSH 4935/7580
Section 01
Carsten Strathausen
Asynchronous online
Course Description

This upper-division course will explore adaptation principles and practices with a variety of forms of literature that were not originally written for film. We shall study the relation between literature and film via a detailed analysis of popular movies and the literary texts— novels in particular—that inspired them. Although we shall discuss some historical and theoretical texts, particularly at the beginning the course, the emphasis overall lies on close readings of the chosen texts and the corresponding films. A central goal of this course is to question the “fidelity” model on which most comparative analyses of film and literature are (still) based. A second goal is to explore the central theme commonly shared by all texts and movies we will discuss, namely “human nature”. What do we mean when we talk about “human nature”? How has the “other” of humanity (e.g. machines and monsters, vampires and aliens) been depicted in literature and film over the last 200 years?