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Spring 2016 Courses

200-level Courses

ENG 248 - Survey of African-American Literature (3 credits)

ENG 282 - Introduction to Film (3 credits)

300-level Courses

ENG 382 - Film and Literature (3 credits)

Ora Gelley
Ora Gelley
Starting virtually with the birth of the movies, there exists a long history of adapting a variety of kinds of texts–plays, parables, novels, stories, etc–into films. No single “formula” or “theory” of adaptation exists. Rather, the work of adaptation involves a process of translation and transformation, a process which this course will explore. Our study of this process will force us to consider the form or genre of the original source text. In order, for instance, to gain some understanding of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film (from 1967) based on Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, for instance, we must consider not one but three source texts: the Oedipus tale of Greek myth and drama, Sigmund Freud’s interpretation of that tale, and finally, a modern story based on Pasolini’s own autobiography which frames the mythic recreation of the film. In the case of Lars Von Trier’s The Five Obstructions (2003), to give another example, we will explore the process by which a filmmaker, in collaboration with his colleague, re-makes, in five entirely different versions, a short film produced by him 25 years earlier. In this case, the transformation does not involve a  shift from text to screen, but rather, is driven by a series of “obstructions” (devised by the student, Von Trier, for his former film teacher, Jorgen Leth) which determine the form of each re-make. The course will cover a range of textual forms and cinematic and literary genres–including Greek tragedy, the Female Gothic, the novel, the biblical text, the short story,  and the animated film. Issues, in addition to those of genre and adaptation, that will be discussed include: intertextuality; point of view (how, for instance, is the subjective or “first person” voice expressed differently in film and literature?); narrative and narration; historiography.