A Short History of Adaptation Studies in the Classroom

Imelda Whelehan, Deborah Cartmell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Adaptation studies is a growth area in the Arts and Humanities and has brought numerous multidisciplinary perspectives to what used to be more commonly known as ‘novel to film’ or ‘literature and film’ studies. The impact of adaptation studies on English has been indisputably significant, and it could be argued that the study of adaptations has changed the way we teach the subject for good; at the very least it is now common to see English modules delivered with varying degrees of adaptation content across the globe, even if, as Thomas Leitch asserts, ‘English studies has continued to treat film adaptation not so much with hostility as with benign neglect’.1 While fictional texts and their feature film adaptations remain at the subject’s core,2 the study of adaptations has broadened to embrace ‘literature’ and the ‘screen’ in the broadest senses of each word. With a new theoretical richness and interdisciplinary confidence, adaptation studies has facilitated fresh approaches to issues of interpretation, rewriting, and refunctioning, enabling purposeful reflection on our contemporary obsession with reworking culture to suit our own needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Adaptations
EditorsDeborah Cartmell, Imelda Whelehan
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9781137311139
ISBN (Print)9781137311153
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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