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Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077)
John O. Jordan (Project Director: March 2006 to January 2009)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$112,300 (approved)
$112,300 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 1/31/2008

Adaptation and Revision: The Example of GREAT EXPECTATIONS

A three-week seminar for fifteen college and university faculty to examine the complex relationship between original literary texts and subsequent adaptations or "copies" by other writers and artists, through the lens of Charles Dickens' Victorian masterwork, GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations is among the most enduring of 19th-century British novels, yet we "remember" it not only as a classic of Victorian fiction, but in its many modern incarnations, especially the 1946 film version by David Lean, which continues to set the standard for film adaptation today. this seminar studies both the individual case of Great Expectations and its exemplary status as a classic text re-imagined by contemporary filmmakers, novelists and critics. Drawing on recent theories of adaptation, the seminar considers the complex relationship between originals and copies, exploring brilliant writings of Dickens' novel by several 20th-century writers and filmmakers. Participants will be free to use the seminar's theoretical and methodological readings to examine adaptations of other literary texts as well as to probe the particularly provocative example of Dickens' masterpiece, in its "original" form and as the complicated text we have inherited.