English 189 - Winter, 2016

Seminar in Literary Studies

    Topic: Shakespeare Today: Adaptations of the Bard

Class Information

Instructor: Bloom, Gina
CRN: 44572
Time: W 3:10-6:00
Location: 248 Voorhies


    Traditionally, the field of Shakespeare adaptation studies has focused on theater, film and video. Increasingly, however, scholars have turned their attention to media forms that, less explicitly associated with performance, do not obviously suggest themselves to be good contenders for adaptations of drama: graphic novels, digital and analog games, songs, even tweets. This course begins with film and video adaptations and then moves outward to consider how Shakespeare’s plays are rendered in popular culture today on computer screens and mobile devices (via YouTube, Twitter, videogames), in alternative print media (comic books, choose-your-adventure novels, board games), and in non-theatrical performance forms (popular music). How does the process of adaptation affect the meaning of Shakespeare’s plays, and how can Shakespeare help us think anew about the process of adaptation and the range of media forms through which it is done?

    For the final term projects, students will work alone or in teams to produce a Shakespeare adaptation (in any medium) in addition to a long paper that uses theories of adaptation and media studies to analyze the adaptation they have produced.

    Textbooks are available at the bookstore. Students are welcome to use other editions of the plays as long as the editions have good glosses/notes.


    Class participation: 15%
    Quizzes: 10%
    Short writings: 15%
    Final exam: 20%
    Group project: 15%
    Final paper: 25%


    A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
    Hamlet, Shakespeare
    Othello, Shakespeare
    Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
    To Be Or Not to Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure, Ryan North
    Such Tweet Sorrow, Royal Shakespeare Company/Mudlark
    Brick Shakespeare, John McCann et. al.
    Hamlet, dir. Almereida
    Kill Shakespeare graphic novel, Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery
    Chronicles of Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (DVD ROM)
    Other texts TBD