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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: Literature and Film: The Challenge of Adaptation (Ordinary) (ELCF09023)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummarySince the beginnings of modern cinema, literature and film have mutually inspired one another. From the Surrealists to the Nouvelle Vague, many directors have taken fiction as a starting point for their visual works. This option will provide an in-depth analysis of the interface between the two media. It will examine various types of literary adaptations and assess the strategies and negotiations involved in the move from text to film. Taking into account broader issues of adaptation theory, it will also consider the economics of adaptation, the ideology behind heritage film and the rediscovery of classic authors by the cinema. Seminars will be based on a selection of French adaptations ranging from the heritage genre to avant-garde forms. Topics for discussion will include the question of 'faithfulness' to a source text; the translation of thought, subjective point of view and inner speech to the screen and the different 'language' of text and film. No prior knowledge of film studies is needed to take this course.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 2 (ELCF08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Ordinary Students and Visiting Students only
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  4
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework:
1 x 1500 essay (80%)
1 x in-class presentation (10%)
1 x class participation (10%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To demonstrate an advanced knowledge of a range of sources in their socio-historical and cultural contexts as well as a good understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks needed to analyse them
  2. To select and apply relevant theoretical and methodological approaches in their critical evaluation of film and to demonstrate mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods
  3. To assess and synthesise primary and secondary sources and to engage critically with these sources, showing awareness of nuance and accommodating ambiguities
  4. To construct coherent arguments which engage effectively with the sources and the relevant contexts and to present them with a high level of clarity in both oral and written form
  5. To demonstrate autonomy and initiative in their activities, carry out independent research under the guidance of the tutor, and to show awareness of their own and others¿ roles and responsibilities as part of a team
Reading List
Films for Study
Alain Resnais, Hiroshima mon amour (1959)
Marcel Camus, Orfeu Negro (1959)
Jean-Luc Godard, Le Mépris (1963)
Claude Chabrol, Madame Bovary (1991)
Claude Berri, Germinal (1993)
Julien Schnabel, Le Scaphandre et le papillon (2007)

Bazin, André, 'Pour un cinéma impur. Défense de l'adaptation', in qu'est-ce que le cinéma ? (Paris : Les Editions du Cerf, 1999), pp. 81-106.
Bazin, André, 'Le 'Journal d'un curé de campagne' et la stylistique de Robert Bresson', in qu'est-ce que le cinéma ? (Paris : Les Editions du Cerf, 1999), pp. 107-27
Cartmell, Deborah and Imelda Whelehan, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen (Cambridge: CUP, 2007) (e-book)
---, Adaptations: From Text to Screen, Screen to Text (Routledge, 1999)
Cléder, Jean, 'L'Adaptation cinématographique', Fabula LHT,
Corrigan, Timothy, Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader (Prentice Hall, 1998)
Dudley, Andrew, 'Adaptation', in Film Theory and Criticism, ed. by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2004), pp. 461-469.
Hutcheon, Linda, A Theory of Adaptation (London: Routledge, 2006)
Leitch, Thomas, 'Adaptation Studies at a Crossroads', Adaptation, 1 (2008), 63-77
(available online:
McFarlane, Brian, Novel to Film: An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation (Oxford UP, 1996)
Sanders, Julie, Adaptation and Appropriation (Routledge, 2005)
Stam, Robert, Literature Through Film: Realism, Magic and the Art of Adaptation (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004)
Stam, Robert and Alessandra Raengo, eds., Literature and Film: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Film Adaptation (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004)
---, A Companion to Literature and Film (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004)
Truffaut, François, 'Une certaine tendance du cinéma français', Cahiers du cinéma, 31 (1954), 15-29
(available online:
Welsh, James M., and Peter Lev, eds., The Literature/Film Reader: Issues of Adaptation (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2007)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university's graduate and employability skills framework at
KeywordsFrench cinema literature adaptation
Course organiserProf Marion Schmid
Tel: (0131 6)50 8409
Course secretaryMrs Elsie Gach
Tel: (0131 6)50 8421
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