English 150

Senior Seminar: Novel to Film Adaptation

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Fajardo, Margaret A.
Fajardo, Margaret
MW 4-5:30 223 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Tentative Books: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad; The Quiet American, Graham Greene; Dream Jungle, Jessica Hagedorn; The Ugly American, William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick; Beloved, Toni Morrison

Tentative Films:
Apocalypse Now (1979) and Apocalypse Now Redux (2001), dir. Francis Ford Coppola; Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991), dir. Eleanor Coppola; Beloved (1998), dir. Jonathan Demme; The Quiet American (1956), dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz; The Quiet American (2002), dir. Phillip Noyce; Tropic Thunder (2008), Ben Stiller; The Ugly American (1963), dir. George Englund


This course intends to confront the conventional understanding that “The book is always better than the movie.” We will focus on the limitations and possibilities of the form of the novel and the film in the way that they represent, narrate, and engage with the histories of slavery, U.S. foreign policy and intervention, and the U.S. war in Vietnam. We are going to explore the representational changes that occur between novel and film as well as when films are remade, re-issued, or parodied and the particular meanings that they generate in the time that they are released to viewers. In addition, we will consider artistic choice and creative license as well as conditions of production, especially with respect to film. In-class discussions and writing assignments will involve the use of both literary terms and film language.

The seminar requirement for the English major may be satisfied by any ONE of the following:  English 100, 150, 150AC, or H195A-B. 

Enrollment is limited and a written application is due BY 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28; be sure to read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes regarding enrollment in English 150!

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