Adaptation: Text, Image, Culture (EAF2510)

StaffProfessor Helen Hanson - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to engage students in the study of adaptations in diverse forms, genres and styles across stage, page, film, radio, television, graphic novels and new media.  These adaptations are analysed in the light of theories of text, authorship, genre and cross-cultural exchange.  On completion of the module, students will have an understanding of the creative processes and the workings of creative industries in shaping, visualising and circulating literary narratives and cultural forms.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an informed appreciation of specific films and literary texts.
  • 2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the aesthetic, theoretical and cultural questions which arise from the transformation of literary texts onto film.
  • 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the critical debates about adaptation, authorship, genre and cross-cultural translation in relation to adaptations.
  • 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, cultural and/or industrial contexts of specific adaptations.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Demonstrate an ability to analyse film of different periods and cultures and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical and cultural contexts.
  • 6. Demonstrate their skills in close formal, thematic, generic and authorial analysis of different kinds of films.
  • 7. Demonstrate skills in research and evaluation of relevant critical and historical materials for the study of film.
  • 8. Demonstrate an ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to film.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Through seminar work and presentations, demonstrate advanced communication skills and an ability to work both individually and in groups.
  • 10. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and a capacity to write clear and correct prose.
  • 11. Through research, seminar discussion, essay writing and seminar presentations demonstrate a capacity to question assumptions, to distinguish between fact and opinion, and critically to reflect on their own learning process.

Syllabus plan

Topics to be covered typically include a selection from the following:

  1. Theories of Adaptation
  2. Adaptation and Authorship
  3. The Practices of Adaptation
  4. Adaptation and Intermediality
  5. Genres in Adaptation
  6. Adaptation and the creative industries
  7. Adaptation as a trans-cultural process

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities11Lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities5Workshops
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities22Seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities33Film Screenings
Guided independent study33Study group preparation and meetings
Guided independent study70Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided independent study126Reading, research and essay preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Presentation15 minutes1-11Group Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Adaptation Case Study Treatment 45Portfolio to total of 2,000 words 1-11Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up
Essay452,000 words1-11Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up
Seminar Participation10Continuous Oral Feedback with opportunity for office hours follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Adaptation Case Study Treatment Adaptation Case Study Treatment 2000 words1-11Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay 2000 words1-11Referral/deferral period
Seminar ParticipationRepeat Study or mitigation Oral Feedback with opportunity for office hours follow-up

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core Reading:

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

James M Cain  The Postman Always Rings Twice   (1934)

Charles Dickens,  Great Expectations   (1860)

Edgar Allan Poe,  The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales   (1889)

Daphne du Maurier,  Rebecca   (1938)

Daphne du Maurier, ‘The Birds’ (1952) from The Birds and Other Stories (2004)

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

Frank Miller, Sin City Volume 1: The Hard Goodbye (1991-2000)

William Shakespeare,  Macbeth   (1606)

Linda Hutcheon  A Theory of Adaptation: Second Edition,  New York and London: Routledge, 2012 (also available on Kindle)


Secondary Reading:

Timothy Corrigan  Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader   New York and London: Routledge, 2012

Simone Murray  The Adaptation Industry: The Cultural Economy of Contemporary Literary Adaptation   New York and London: Routledge, 2011

Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo  A Companion to Literature and Film   Oxford, Blackwell, 2007

Steven Price, The Screenplay: Authorship, Theory and Criticism, London: Palgrave, 2010

Cristina Della Colletta  When Stories Travel: Cross Cultural Encounters Between Fiction and Film   John Hopkins University Press, 2012

Mark Thornton Burnett  Shakespeare and World Cinema   Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012 


Core Films:

The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)

Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vicent Paronnaud, 2007)

Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton, 1999)

Ran (Akira Kurasawa, 1985)

The Fall of the House of Usher (Jan Svankmajer, 1980)

Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)

The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964)

The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946)

Ossessione (Luchino Visconti, 1943)

Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Archival sources in the University of Exeter Heritage Collections and film-related collections in The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date

Feb 2013

Key words search

Adaptation, film, literature, graphic novel, visual culture, creative industries, multimedia, cross cultural, translation