New Processes and Practices: adaptation as pedagogic tool in film studies.
This source preferred by Richard Berger
Authors: Berger, R.
Start date: 24 April 2009
As a sphere of film studies, the study of literary adaptation has been generally concerned with texts. In recent years a number of methodologies have moved the discipline away form binary notions of ‘source’ and ‘target’ texts to a more plural view of adaptation. As part of film studies, adaptation has finally come of age and is supported by a significant canon of historiography, theory and methodology. Scholars have also moved way from their focus on the ‘classic’ novel, to adaptations of contemporary fiction, television and comic books.
This paper will argue that adaptation itself can be a sophisticated pedagogic tool and can lead to a greater understanding of the process of adaptation and contemporary film production. This way of teaching can illuminate what practices and incidents occur in the ‘gap’ between the source and target text. Adaptation then is no longer a subject, but an effective teaching method.
Using case-study material and blogs generated by undergraduates in the UK, this paper will show how students can gain a greater understanding of adaptation by reflecting on the process of reconstituting, or re-purposing existing material themselves for new audiences. The film studies student can gain a great deal from re-purposing pre-existing material into new forms, identifying an audience and then reflecting on that learning journey. In this way, adaptation ceases to be a value-based driven subject, but one more concerned with ideas of reception.