Fiction into Film

Discipline: Slavic Languages and Literatures
Instructor: Connolly
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 1520
End: 1635
Field Work: Day 1 - Dublin - Thursday, 10 July | Ireland
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

The course will examine the many ways that literary texts have been transformed into cinematic works, focusing on European and American versions of works written by writers originally from Europe and Russia.  Students will read a literary text, such as a play by Anton Chekhov, a story by James Joyce, or a tale by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and will investigate how a film director refashions that text into a new cinematic vision.  Students will consider the difference between literary language and cinematic language, the treatment of point of view, setting, style, costumes, and so on.  The films to be screened will range from relatively close adaptations of the original material to free-ranging interpretations that may very widely from the original.  Issues of cultural identity and identification also come into play when the filmmaker is from a different country than the writer of the source text.

Field Work

Country: Ireland
Day: 1 - Dublin - Thursday, 10 July

We will visit the city of Dublin and explore the sites that feature prominently in the works of James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, and many other Irish writers and filmmakers.  Students will have an opportunity to gauge how the city’s layout and landmarks influenced these writers and their creations.  Among the places we will visit are the Dublin Writers’ Museum and the Kilmainham Gaol, and we will have lunch in one of the pubs featured in Joyce’s The Dubliners.  Our walking tour will be guided by a scholar intimately familiar with our writers’ works and we will come to understand the social, political, religious, and cultural forces that shaped the world view of Ireland’s greatest writers. Academic Objectives: 1.  To gain firsthand knowledge of the sites and settings for important works of Irish literature and film 2. To understand how physical settings impact such elements as character development and plot 3.  To help students consider the power of a place to live on in the imagination of artists and others