Adaptation: Theory and Practice
When we think about adaptation, what usually comes to mind are novels or plays that have been "made" into films, along with statements of value (i.e. "the book was better than the movie").
But the fact that many films are "based" on books and other pre-existing works is only the cusp of the issue. The study of cinematic adaptation gives us an opportunity to examine a wide variety of concepts, such as the source of creativity and inspiration, the role of self-expression versus the objective reflection of the outer world and the problem of whether artistic productions are the result of divinely inspired genius or solely the result of human skill and talent.
Studying adaptation helps us understand both what a story is and what a story can become over time. To this end, we will examine a number of different kinds of adaptation by exploring the mimetic, pragmatic, expressive and objective approaches that all film adaptations either engage or disavow. We will also consider how filmmakers produce works from particular material and historical circumstances that influence the adjustment, remodeling, conversion, shifting, alteration, adoption and reworking of popular narratives.
Students may contact me for the complete syllabus if you missed or have lost the paper copy.