The course sets out to develop students’ competencies in the field of global media, particularly within the area of remediation and adaptation of canonical texts.  The course will be looking at the processes and mechanisms involved in the transmedial rewriting of printed texts and at the ways historical, cultural and economic contexts shape such processes. Students are first introduced to definitions and strategies of reading media texts which have been recently developed in the interdisciplinary area of adaptation studies.  The course will further look into the concrete details of successive adaptions of theatrical texts (plays by Shakespeare) and novelistic ones (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice) and their respective global circulation. Questions that will be addressed refer to the “afterlives” of canonical figures such as Shakespeare and Austen in the present popular culture.  To what extent are the canonical texts “re-invented” and to what extend do the respective mediatic re-workings offer the audience “authentic” versions?  Do these rewritings as well as the original texts they refer to vary with time and place?  What happens in transmedial rewritings and how much of a future do games offer to the survival of canonical works?

Course instructor: Prof Mădălina Nicolaescu


Weeks 1-2: Definitions of and approaches to adaptation and its mechanisms

Readings: Hutcheon (chapters 1,2,3,5), Bolter and Grusin (“Introduction”), Leitch (“Between Adaptation and Allusion”, “Adaptation and Intertextuality: What isn’t an Adaptation and What Does It Matter”)

Week 3: Differences in trans-medial adaptations: films versus television versus games or theatre productions

Readings: Bolter and Grusin (chapters 1-2), Fischlin (“Introduction”), M.L. Ryan (chapters 2,3, 4)

Weeks 5-6: Discussion of four successive adaptations of Jane Eyre  and Pride and Prejudice,  the use of multiple perspectives on the reading of adaptations; issues related to the construction of femininity versus that of masculinity

Readings: the film versions, Yvonne Griggs.

Weeks 7-8: Three film adaptations of Othello and radical rewritings as such as O and Omkara

Readings: the films, Cartelli and Rowe, Thornton Burnett (Filming Shakespeare in the Global Market, chapter4).

Weeks 9-10: Reworkings of Macbeth in the theatre, cinema and graphic novel

Readings: Ionesco, Macbett, three film versions of Macbeth, (optionally: the Wilson Ryley graphic version of the play), Thornton Burnett, Wray eds. Screening Shakespeare in the 21st Century (chapter 9)

Week 11: Rewritings of The Taming of the Shrew

Readings: John Fletcher’s sequel The Tamer Tamed, Zefirelli’s film, the BBC version of Shakespeare Retold, Thornton Burnett, Wray. Screening Shakeseare in the 21st Century (chapter 10) and Filming Shakespeare in the Global Market (chapter 3).

Weeks 12-14: course round-up and discussion of students’ projects.



TEXTS: W. Shakespeare, Othello, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew; Djanet Sears, Harlem Duet; E. Ionesco, Macbett; J. Fletcher, The Tamer Tamed; C. Brontë, Jane Eyre (optionally D du Maurier, Rebecca andJ Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea); J. Austen, Pride and Prejudice (optionally H. Fielding, The Diary of Bridget Jones)

FILMS: Jane Eyre (1996/1997/2006/2011) and optionally Rebecca (1940); Pride and Prejudice (1940, 1995, 2005) andoptionally Bridget Jones and/or Lost in Austen; OmkaraOthello (1951, 1965, 1999); Macbeth (three versions) Scotland PA, Shakespeare Retold – Macbeth; Shakespeare Retold – the Taming of the Shrew  



  • Berger, Ross. Dramatic Storytelling and Narrative Design. CRC Press: 2019.
  • Bolter, J.D. and R. Grusin. „Introduction”, chapter 1-2,- Remediation: Understanding New Media. Routledge 2000
  • Fischlin, Daniel and Mark Fortier: “Introduction”- Adaptations of Shakespeare,  Univ. of Toronto Press. 2005.
  • Huang Alexa, Elizabeth Rivlin. Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation. Palgrave, 2014
  • Hutcheon, Linda A Theory of Adaptation, Routledge 2006, chapters 1, 2, 3, 5
  • Leitch, Thomas.  “Between Adaptation and Allusion”. Adaptation and Its Discontents, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007
  • Leitch, Thomas. “Adaptation and Intertextuality: What isn’t an Adaptation and What Does It Matter” in Cartmell, Deborah. (ed.) Literature, Film and Adaptation. Blackwell 2012
  • Ryan, Marie-Laure and  Jan-Noel Thon eds. Storyworlds across Media. Univ of Nebraska Press, 2014.

Specific essays on films

  • Cartelli, Thomas and Katherine Rowe. The New Wave Shakespeare on Screen. Polity , 2009. Chapters: 2- “Adaptation as a Cultural Process”, 6- “Channeling Othello” .
  • Griggs, Yvonne. “Adapting Jane Eyre an analytical Approach” Adapting the Canon in Film, TV, Novels and Popular Culture. Bloomsbury, 2016.
  • Rothwell, Kenneth. A History of Shakespeare on Screen. Cambridge University ,2004. Chapter 4- Orson Welles (Othello)
  • Thornton Burnett, Mark and Ramona Wray eds. Screening Shakespeare in the 21st Century. Edinburgh University, 2010. chapters 9 ( Macbeth, King Lear), 10 (The Shrew)
  • Thornton Burnett, Mark. Filming Shakespeare in the Global Market, Palgrave, 2009. “Introduction”, chapters. 3,4 (3- Macbeth, 4, Othello)


  • A minimum of 50% attendance
  • Participation in the discussions and subject presentations (25%)
  • Quiz ( 30%)
  • A written paper or creative project (45%)