Communication And Culture | Advanced Seminar in Media theory
C792 | 1184 | Naremore

Topic: Film and the Culture of Adaptation

Adaptation of narratives from books, plays, and other sources has
always been important to film and television, and yet the academic writing
on adaptation remains one the most jejune and under-theorized areas of
media study.  In this seminar I hope to revisit the problem of adaptation,
joining some traditional issues (questions of cinematic specificity,
"translation," etc.) with newer problems raised by cultural studies (the
nature of the things we describe as "literary," the politics of literary
vs. film culture, the economic and cultural value of repetition, the
shaping of popular memory, the theoretical relations among adaptations,
parodies, and remakes, etc.).

The course will not be confined to any particular historical
period or national cinema, although we will probably give considerable
attention to mainstream commercial movies, and to the ways in which
adaptation is affected by historical and national contexts.  Class time
will be used to discuss a wide range of recent critical and theoretical
writings, some of them not yet published and most of them collected in a
xerox reader.  There will probably not be a regular film series, although
I've scheduled a extra time period when we can view films that are of
special interest to students in the class.  Each student will be expected
to write a 20-25 page seminar paper, and to deliver an oral report.