- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2013 for reference only

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Common Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult)

Postgraduate Course: Film Revisions: Adaptation and Migration and the Moving Image (CLLC11144)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaCommon Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course description"Film is a form of writing which draws on other forms of writing" writes Robert Stam. From the earliest years of cinema, film has drawn on literary and theatrical sources. The critical study of film adaptation has grown significantly in recent years, moving beyond a narrow focus on fidelity to open up productive questions of the complex relations between copy and original, and of the nature of intertextualities.

This course offers an introduction to these critical questions through a series of case studies: each of these will explore the relationship between a film screening and selected intertexts; each pairing will serve as a lens through which to examine a different approach to adaptation/ translation.

The course will take an expanded approach to the question of adaptation, seeing film as not simply based on literary antecedents but as an art form which draws on other forms of art. It will consider movements across genres ¿ from literary classics to comic books ¿ and across historical periods and geographical spaces.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 101 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will be introduced to the critical study of film adaptation.

Students will learn to think critically about the migration of stories and ideas across different historical, geographical and generic locations.

Students will gain experience of analysing a diverse selection of moving image texts.

Students will learn to assess and evaluate the uses of a range of critical tools in the study of adaptation.
Assessment Information
4000 Word Essay (100%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week One: Adaptation, Migration and the Moving Image
From its earliest years cinema drew on the themes and narratives of the novel. Richard Butt has shown how heavily represented Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson were within early cinema, which embraced their romance, sense of place and storytelling verve. The course opens with a study of the 1995 film version of Rob Rob ¿ one of a long series of adaptations. The focus of this week will be less on Scott¿s original invocation of a lost Scotland, and more on the ways this film distinguishes itself from a long history of adaptation. An unusual Scottish / Hollywood co-production, we will examine the ways it reimagines the romantic hero for a late 20th century audience through generic hybridity, with Allan Scott, the film¿s screenwriter, describing the film as a ¿Western in kilts¿.
Rob Roy Walter Scott
Rob Roy (Michael Caton-Jones, Scotland /US 1995)

Week Two: Adaptation and the Arthouse
Perhaps the most familiar model of film adaptation is the reworking of a classic novel for an often European arthouse audience. This class will consider aspects of the politics of adaptation. Examining the process of what Stam refers to as ¿the a priori valorization of historical anteriority and seniority¿ and MacLuhan as ¿rear view mirror logic¿ ¿ that objects acquire value over time ¿ we will consider the cultures of taste and value which gather around the classic film adaptation.
Death in Venice Thomas Mann 1912 novel
Death in Venice (Visconti, Italy 1971) film
House of Mirth Edith Wharton 1905
House of Mirth (Terence Davies, 2000)

Week Three: Episodic Adaptation
Television and radio have both seized on the possibilities offered by the episodic novel, replicating its structure of timed release, suspense and cliff-hanger. Through the BBC¿s experiment with 15 x 30 minute soap opera style episodes of Bleak House we will examine the adaptation and episodic form, looking too at the ways the BBC, Dickens and British character acting form an interlocking set of national institutions.
Bleak House (BBC One, 2005)
Bleak House Charles Dickens 1852-53

Week Four: Adaptation and Authorial Voice
Sally Potter¿s international film co-production of Woolf¿s Orlando draws attention to the novel¿s migrations across time and national spaces and to its generic hybridity, from costume drama to science fiction. Lead actor Tilda Swinton breaks boundaries in her character¿s shifts across gender and in the breach of the fourth wall, where the direct address to camera provides one means of navigating the question of authorial voice. We will also study how Swinton¿s collaboration with Potter raises interesting questions of authorship and agency.
Orlando Virginia Woolf 1928
Orlando (Sally Potter UK/ Russia/ France 1992)

Week Five : Adaptation as Palimpsest
Claire Denis makes loose use of Melville¿s British naval novella Billy Budd, here transplanted to a remote French Legion camp in North Africa. Denis¿ film is a layered mix of sound, dance, movement and image; drawing too on Benjamin¿s Britten¿s operatic reworking of this queer tale.

Beau Travail (Claire Denis France 1999)
Billy Budd Herman Melville
Billy Budd Benjamin Britten

Week Six: Migrations 1: the Remake
This week we study the Hollywood remake of early Nordic Noir thriller ¿ Insomnia. This migration of successful small nation cinema product to English language remake is a common journey, and allows us to look at transnational flows of commerce and cultural capital.
Insomnia (Erik Sjkoldbjaerg, Norway 1997)
Insomnia (Christopher Nolan, US 2002)

Week Seven: Migrations 2: Intertextuality and Reception
Princess Mononoke is an environmental fable set in a fantasy of medieval Japan. Considered by many Miyazaki¿s masterpiece, the animation draws on his love of John Ford Westerns and speaks too of earlier intertextual exchanges between the Japanese historical films of Kurosawa and Hollywood westerns. This seminar will focus less on these textual questions and more on the analysis of reception ¿ specifically Ghibli¿s largely unsuccessful attempts to reach a US audience with Princess Mononoke.

Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli, Japan 1997)
Stagecoach (John Ford, US 1939)
The Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa, Japan 1958)

Week Eight: Comic Book Classics
In the graphic novel 300 Frank Miller created a bloody and visceral retelling of the ancient Greek story of Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans at the gates of Thermopylae. Its film remake was a sensational and digitally enhanced onscreen explosion of spectacular male bodies and high octane racist stereotyping. This class will explore the ways in which the classical world forms the backdrop for a series of fantasies around sexuality, power and violence.
300 (Zack Snyder, US, 2007)
300 (Frank Miller, writer and illustrator, Dark Horse Comics, 1998)

Week Nine: Adaptation as Improvisation
The prolific director, Michael Winterbottom brings the a classic novel not considered grist for the adaptation mill - Tristram Shandy - to screen in a narrative punctured and punctuated by off-stage squabbling between the comic leads ¿ Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden.
A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom, UK 2005)
Lawrence Sterne The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman 1759-1767

Week Ten: Adaptation as Expansion: the Film Franchise
After the huge commercial success of Peter Jackson¿s The Lord of the Ring, controversy has attended the decision to extend Tolkien¿s earlier and slighter book across three lengthy film adaptations. This class will consider the ways in which film-makers negotiate the relationship between active fan cultures and the commercial imperatives of franchise building.
The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien 1937
The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey (Peter Jackson, 2012)
Week Eleven: Fan Cultures and Fidelity
With the Twilight series Stephenie Meyer reanimated the vampire genre for teenagers. In this class we will consider the ways in which this franchise draws on and departs from earlier vampire visitations.
Twilight Stephenie Meyer 2005
Twilight (Catherine Hardwick, 2008)

Alternative Themes
Adaptation as Play
Where the Wild Thing Are Maurice Sendak, 1963
Where the Wild Thing Are (Spike Lee, 2009)

Migrations 3 : Meditations on Place, the Past and Present

Robinson in Space (Patrick Keiller, UK 1997)
A Tour thro¿ the Whole Island of Great Britain Daniel Defoe 1724-1727

Adaptation and Animation
My Dog Tulip J.R. Ackerley 1956
My Dog Tulip (Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, 2009)

Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Key Texts:

Cartmell, Deborah, and Imelda Whelehan , eds (2010) Screen Adaptation: Impure Cinema. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Geraghty, Christine (2008). Now a Major Motion Picture: Film Adaptations of Literature and Drama. Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield.

Hutcheon, Linda (2006) A Theory of Adaptation. New York: Routledge.

Stam, Robert and Raengo, Alessandra, eds. (2005). Literature and Film: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Film Adaptation. Blackwell.

Indicative Bibliography:

Andrew, Dudley (1984) ¿Adaptation¿ In: Film Theory and Criticism, ed. by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. Oxford et al.: Oxford University Press: 2004, 461-469.

Andrew, Dudley (2004 ) ¿Adapting Cinema to History: A Revolution in the Making.¿ A Companion to Literature and Film. Eds. Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo. Oxford: Blackwell,. 189-204.

Aragay, Mireia, (ed.) (2005) Books in Motion: Adaptation, Intertextuality, Authorship. Amsterdam / New York : Rodopi,.

Barthes, R. (1988 (1968)) ¿The Death of the Author¿, in D. Lodge (ed.) Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. London and New York: Longman, 167-72.

Bassnett, S. (2002 (1980)) Translation Studies. London and New York: Routledge.

Boyum, J. G. (1985) Double Exposure: Fiction into Film. New York: Universe Books.

Boozer, Jack, ed. (2005) Authorship in Film Adaptation. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Buscombe, E. (1981 (1973)) ¿Ideas of Authorship¿, in J. Caughie (ed.)
Theories of Authorship. London and New York: Routledge, 22-34.

Cahir, Linda Constanzo. (2006) Literature into Film: Theory and Practical Approaches. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc..

Cardwell, S. (2002) Adaptation Revisited: Television and the Classic Novel. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Carroll, Rachel, ed. (2009) Adaptation in Contemporary Culture: Textual Infidelities. London: Continuum.

Cartmell, Deborah, and Imelda Whelehan, eds.(2007) The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Cartmell, Deborah, and Imelda Whelehan , eds. (1999) Adaptations: From Text to Screen, Screen to Text. London and New York: Routledge
Caughie, J. (1981)(ed.) Theories of Authorship. London and New York: Routledge.

Constandinides, Costas (2010) From Film Adaptation to Post-Celluloid Adaptation: Rethinking the Transition of Popular Narratives. New York: Continuum.

Cohen, K. (1979) Film and Fiction: The Dynamics of Exchange. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Corrigan, T. (1999) Film and Literature: An Introduction and a Reader. Upper Saddle River, N. J.: Prentice-Hall

Elliott, K. (2003) Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ellis, J. (1982) ¿The Literary Adaptation: An Introduction¿, Screen 23 (1), 3-5.

Foucault, M. (1986 (1969)) ¿What is an Author¿, in P. Rabinow (ed.) The Foucault Reader. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 101-20.

Giddings, R. and Sheen, E. (eds.) (2002) The Classic Novel: From Page to Screen. Manchester: Man¬chester University Press.

Hopton, Tricia, et al., eds. (2011) Pockets of Change: Adaptation and Cultural Transition. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books.

Leitch, Thomas (2007) Film Adaptation and Its Discontents: From Gone with the Wind to The Passion of the Christ. Baltimore : The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Leitch, Thomas (2008) "Adaptation Studies at a Crossroads." Adaptation 1.1 (2008): 63-77.

MacCabe, Colin, Kathleen Murray, and Rick Warner, eds. (2011) True to the Spirit: Film Adaptation and the Question of Fidelity. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

McFarlane, B. (1996) Novel to Film: An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation. Oxford: Clarendon.
Naremore, J. (1990) ¿Authorship and the Cultural Politics of Film Criticism¿, Film Quarterly 44 (1), 14-22.

Mera, Miguel. "Invention/Re-invention." MSMI 3:1 (Spring 2009): 1-20.

Murray, Simone (2012) The Adaptation Industry: The Cultural Economy of Contemporary Literary Adaptation. New York: Routledge.

Naremore, James, ed. Film Adaptation. London: The Athlone Press, 2000.

Palmer, R. Barton, and David Boyd, eds. (2011) Hitchcock at the Source: The Auteur as Adaptor. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Ray, R. B. (2000) ¿The Field of ¿Literature and Film¿¿, in J. Naremore (ed.) Film Adaptation. London: Athlone, 38-53.

Rothwell, K. S. (2004 (1999)) A History of Shakespeare on Screen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stam, R. (2000) ¿Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation¿, in J. Naremore (ed.) Film Adaptation. London: Athlone, 54-76.

Stam, Robert (2005) Literature through Film: Realism, Magic, and the Art of Adaptation. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Stam, Robert and Alessandra Raengo, eds. (2005a) A Companion to Literature and Film. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Voigts-Virchow, Eckart (2009) ¿Metadaptation: Adaptation and Intermediality ¿ Cock and Bull.¿ Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance 2.2 (2009): 137-152.

Welsh, James M., and Peter Lev, eds (2007) The Literature/Film Reader: Issues of Adaptation. Lanham, Maryland : The Scarecrow Press.

Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern This course will be taught through 11 weekly 2 hour screenings and 11 weekly 2 hour seminars. Students will be expected to attend all screenings; in most cases, to read literary source material or watch the alternative film text; and to come to seminars prepared to discuss the work in the light of that week's selected critical readings.

Teaching is organised through a thematic structure, with each week¿s choice of texts working to illuminate theoretical or applied approaches to adaptation.

Course organiserMs Jane Sillars
Tel: (0131 6)50 2945
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)51 3988
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 10 October 2013 3:52 am