Course Description

Course Name

British and American Literature and Cinema

Session: VSOS3221

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This course brings together a small group of notable texts from British and American literature and cinema for students to examine the process of adaptation of literary works to feature films. It will address the complex relationship between the written word and the silver screen, whilst encouraging students to observe the differences between print and mass media in terms of their aesthetics and forms of representation. We will move beyond the old question of how ?faithful? the movie was to the original source and discuss how each medium approaches the task of ?storytelling? in its own unique way.

Several literary forms (novels, drama and short stories) are featured to allow students to consider a range of cinematic adaptations in a variety of film genres (musicals, horror films, dramas and so on). In addition, the American section of the course focuses on relatively contemporaneous adaptations (less than a decade) whilst the British section covers adaptations with time spans of up to a century between the first publication of the text and its subsequent appearance on screen.

To do justice to the works that we will study, the course will be limited to three novels and their film adaptations. In the case of Dracula, the number of adaptions runs into the hundreds as it is one of the most frequently adapted literary texts of all time. As a theme running throughout the course, we will analyze ways that American and British writers and directors have explored and represented issues surrounding social and cultural identity in their work (gender, race, class and sexual orientation). Finally, the course situates each author?s work within a specific cultural and historical context to better understand the evolution of these issues within British or American society in different historical eras.

*Course content subject to change