Narrative and Film

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
24 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA PQ32 Film Studies and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA PQ38 Film Studies and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA QW26 Film Studies and Literature,
BA QW27 Film Studies and Literature (Including Placement Year)

Module description

In this module we study the ways in which filmmakers have recycled, updated, and given new life to canonical and popular literatures, to graphic novels and comics, and to movie originals. We look at different types of adaptation, such as free adaptations, intermedial borrowings, and the literary film, and we analyse what is involved in the transposition of narrative from one medium into another. We also explore the differences between remakes and reboots, and the differences between adaptations which retell the "same" story again (and again) and transmedia storytelling which arguably invents prequels, sequels and spin-offs out of a desire of never wanting a particular story to end.

Module aims

The learning aims of the module are to:

• introduce students to the different signifying systems of film, literature, the graphic novel, videogame
• develop an understanding of how narratives are retold, updated and recycled across different media
• advance an understanding of different types of adaptation, including remakes, reboots, prequels, sequels, and transmedia storytelling
• familiarize students with key debates and theories in adaptation studies

Module learning outcomes

On completing this module students should be able to:

• demonstrate skills in film and literary analysis
• undertake comparative analyses of different types of narratives and media
• demonstrate an understanding of the historical and aesthetic relations between verbal and visual media
• apply, and reflect on, adaptation- and film theory

Module information

FILMS screened in LTB10
Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now (1979)
David Cronenberg, The Fly (1986)
Rainer Fassbinder, Effi Briest (1974)
F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu (1922)
Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins (2005)
Ridley Scott, Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott, Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Wim Wenders, Alice in the Cities (1974)

PRIMARY WORKS you should purchase
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899, any edition)
Theodor Fontane, Effi Briest (1894, London: Penguin, 2000)
Grant Morrison & Dave McKean, Batman: Arkham Asylum (New York, DC Comics, 1989)
Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897, any edition)

George Langelaan, ‘The Fly” (1957)
A. E. van Vogt, “Black Destroyer” and “Discord in Scarlet” (1939)
Wim Wenders, “The American Dream” (1984)

Andrew Horton and Stuart McDougal, eds., Play it Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes (Berkeley: California UP, 1998)
Linda Hutcheon, with Siobhan O’Flynn, A Theory of Adaptation (New York and London: Routledge, 2006; 2nd edition 2013)
Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture. Where Old and New Media Collide (New York UP, 2006)
Amanda Klein and R. Barton Palmer, eds., Cycles, Sequels, Spin-Offs, Remakes and Reboots. Multiplicities in Film and Television (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2016)
Robert Stam, and Alessandra Raengo, eds., Literature and Film. A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Film Adaptation (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
Eckart Voight and Nicklas Pascal, Adaptation, Transmedia Storytelling and Participatory Culture, Special issue of Adaptation 6.2 (2013)

Learning and teaching methods

Two to three hours of viewing/listening time each week, in addition to a one-hour lecture followed by a one-hour seminar.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay (2,500 words)    95% 
Practical   Participation Mark    5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Karin Littau, email:
Professor Karin Littau
LiFTS General Office, Tel. (01206) 872626, email:



External examiner

Dr Mikel Koven
University of Worcester
Senior Lecturer - Film Studies
Available via Moodle
Of 50 hours, 20 (40%) hours available to students:
30 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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