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Jane Austen and Adaptation

ENGL 455.640
instructor(s):

At once acutely aware of popular culture and a product of it, Jane Austen adapted and read many popular forms, from Gothic horror to raucous satire to popular theater. She also was acutely interested in what it meant to move across media, and as a result her characters engage not only with ballrooms and playhouses but also with music, dance, painting, landscape, and theaters of war. In our seminar, therefore, we'll begin by reading a few of Austen's sources before moving on to her fiction and to the myriad of adaptations that have been made of her work since 1995. We'll also tap some of the events put on this year by the Penn Humanities Forum, whose theme this year is "Adaptation." Certainly we will engage some of the films, but we'll also have a look at mash-ups, video games, choose-your-own adventure books, and social media sites. Required work: two essays and a presentation.