Film and Literature: New Directions in Adaptation - Writing Intensive

New Directions in Adaptation
ENGL 2870
Nancy West
Course Description

How do we talk and write about an adaptation of a book? English 2870 will explore that question by looking at five novels and their rich history in film and television. In addition to reading the works and viewing some of their adaptations, we will also read a variety of writings in adaptation theory.

English 2870 is a WI course. The subject of adaptation lends itself perfectly to a writing intensive course because it focuses on the processes of writing (Why did the author choose this opening? Why did she write her characters this way? ); rewriting (How does the film change the opening of the novel? Which characters does it keep? Which characters does it leave out? How does it change the characters’ personalities, attitudes, roles?); and reimagining (What if this novel took place in an entirely different time and setting?). Students will do a variety of written assignments, including a treatment for their own adaptation of one of the five novels we’re reading.

Required Texts and Films:

Book: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Film: Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005)

Cain, James M. Double Indemnity. Film: Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)

Du Maurier, Daphne. Rebecca. Film: Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)

McEwan, Ian. Atonement. Film: Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007)

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Film: Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)