Instructor: Andersen M/W/F 3:35pm – 4:30pm
Over a hundred years later, the Victorians continue to fascinate, perplex, and mystify us. Novelists rewrite classic Victorian novels from the perspective of marginalized or minor characters; film makers update works of Victorian fiction, placing them in a contemporary setting. Adaptations and spinoffs of Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula proliferate. In this class, we will examine a selection of classic Victorian texts alongside contemporary adaptations and spinoffs, exploring the lasting legacy of Victorian mystery and horror. Along the way, we’ll examine a variety of narrative forms and media, including the serialized novel, the graphic novel, short story, fanfiction, the feature-length film, and the television series. Classroom discussion and written assignments will focus on theories of adaptation and transmediation, asking questions like: Are adaptations derivative or creative? How do notions of “cultural capital” shape the economics of the film adaptation industry? Does fidelity to the source text matter? How do considerations of genre guide artistic choices? Students will undertake a creative final project informed by these questions and discussions.