Shakespeare Across Media

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
16 March 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA Q300 English Literature,
BA Q303 English Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q320 English Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q321 English Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA PW38 Film and Creative Writing,
BA PW39 Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA PW88 Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PWH8 Film and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q210 English and Comparative Literature,
BA Q211 English and Comparative Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q212 English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q218 English and Comparative Literature (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

Shakespeare is the only author currently required for secondary school students across England: his works hold a great deal of power in our culture. How has that power been co-opted and deployed by artists in different cultural contexts, working in different media? Shakespeare Across Media takes a comparative approach and unites our departmental disciplines of literature, film, drama and creative writing to examine how interpretations of Shakespeare have developed across time and cultural boundaries.

This module covers a variety of adaptations of one Shakespeare play in different media, such as films, novels, graphics novels, fan fiction, poems, fine art, and performance. Looking across media, rather than sticking to just one medium, will give you the tools to ask questions about Shakespeare's authority and cultural power, the politics of adaptation, and the limits of creative interventions in canonical texts. You will also be encouraged to undertake your own creative responses to Shakespeare.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. To introduce the period in a form accessible to first-year students by capitalising on their existing familiarity with Shakespeare and challenging them with a new approach to his work.

2. To complement the Department's strengths in interdisciplinary studies (film, drama, and literature) and in translation and comparative literature

3. To respond to a vibrant and growing field in Shakespeare studies

4. To broaden students’ appreciation of and critical skills in relation to adaptations of Shakespeare from around the world.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module:

1. Students will be familiar with a group of texts – both original plays and adaptations – and the significance of their literary and cultural merit.

2. Students will be able to evaluate the effect of political and cultural circumstances on the adaptation, having studied the changing treatments of Shakespeare's texts across multiple languages, time periods, and cultural contexts.

3. Students will begin to build skills in postcolonial, critical race, and decolonial theory, which they will be able to apply to their analyses of the films and plays we study.

4. Skills in presentation and interdisciplinary critical analysis will be developed in the seminars on this module.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Online Portfolio     20% 
Coursework   Formative assessment: Essay plan and introduction    0% 
Coursework   Essay (3000 words) or a piece of creative writing (2,500 words plus commentary of 750 words)    80% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Nora Williams, email:
Dr Nora Williams
LiFTS General Office, email: Telephone: 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Available via Moodle
Of 30 hours, 30 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.