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					                        FIRST YEAR SEMINAR PROPOSAL:
                          JANE AUSTEN THEN AND NOW
                                  Fall Semester, 2008
                      Prof. James Thompson and Prof. Inger Brodey




DESCRIPTION:
This course will focus on the fiction of Jane Austen and its representations in film. This
author, who never traveled outside England and had the opportunity for little formal
schooling, has nonetheless wielded enormous literary and cultural influence across the
globe. Austen societies can be found on six continents, and her novels have been the
inspiration for films set in contemporary India as well as the California teenager scene.
The year 2007 featured the release of two successful feature-length Austen films
(Becoming Jane and the Jane Austen Book Club) and the Spring of 2008, the BBC will
release new film versions of all six novels. What is the secret of her global appeal?
What does she represent to contemporary American society? What is gained or lost in
adaptation from novel to film?
In order to address this issue, we will read all of her major novels and selected juvenilia,
along with the novel Jane Austen’s Book Club, and many of the most influential film
adaptations, considered under different categories, such as “Heritage Adaptations,”
“Modern Dress Adaptations,” and “Biographical Adaptations” and “Fan-as-Heroine
Adaptations” of her work.
METHODOLOGY:
Discussions will involve close study of the use of irony and narrative techniques and
attempt how one can (or cannot) translate her techniques into film. We will also pay
close attention to the thematic and cultural content of her novels and again the difficulties
of transposition across medium or across culture. We will also address the postcolonial
interpretation of her works, particularly Mansfield Park.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTIVE LEARNING:
The activities in the class will feature a wide range of activities to help students develop
skills in debate, written expository writing, creative expression, and formal oral
presentation:
    • Daily class discussions will be led by student groups, based on semester-long
         research projects.
    • Students will write essays to enter in a Jane Austen National Essay Contest.
    • Students will partake in a one-day Jane Austen conference to be held in Graham
         Memorial.
    • Students will create and publish a cutting-edge website on Jane Austen Films.

EVALUATION OF CLASS PERFORMANCE:
    • Active class participation & preparation, including Blackboard
         20%
    • Essay contest
         20%
    • Conference work and presentation
         20%
    • Website work
         20%
    • Final 10-page project
         20%


       REQUIRED READING
       Austen, Love and Freindship
       ----------, Northanger Abbey
       ----------, Sense and Sensibility
       ----------, Pride and Prejudice
       ----------, Mansfield Park
       ----------, Emma
       ----------, Persuasion
       Goethe’s Werther (excerpt)
       Radcliffe’s Udolpho (excerpt)
       Johnson’s Rambler essay no. 4
       Additional short essays as announced
       Shannon Hale, Austenland
       REQUIRED VIEWING:
       Heritage Adaptations:
       Northanger Abbey, (Giles Foster, 1990).
       Sense and Sensibility (Rodney Bennett, 1990).
       Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee, 1995)
       Pride and Prejudice, (Cyril Coke. 1993).
       Pride and Prejudice, (Simon Langton, 1995).
       Pride and Prejudice, (Robert Z. Leonard,
       1940)
       Mansfield Park, (David Giles 1990).
       Emma, (John Glenister 1993).
       Emma, (Douglas McGrath, 1996.)
       Emma (Sue Birtwhistle, 1996)
       Persuasion (Howard Baker, 1971)
       Persuasion, BBCV5616 (director Roger Mitchell 1995), 102 mins.

       Modern Dress Adaptations:
       Ruby in Paradise (Victor Nunez, 1993)
       You’ve Got Mail (Nora Ephron, 1998)
       Metropolitan (Whit Stillman, 1990)
       Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995)
       The Jane Austen Book Club (Robin Swicord, 2007)
       Kandukondain, Kandukondain (Rajiv Menon, 2000)
       Bride and Prejudice (Gurinder Chadha, 2004)

       Biographical Adaptations:
       Mansfield Park (Patricia Rozema, 2004, USA)
       Becoming Jane (Julian Jarrold, 2007)

GUIDELINES FOR REQUIREMENTS:
     VIEWING FILMS:
     All films must be viewed carefully before class discussion. This includes taking
     careful notes, trying to notice interesting interpretations of the novels, and trying
     to record important dialogue or other details for use later. Generally this will
     require two screenings. The following options are available for screening.

               1.   We will have weekly screenings at the professors’ houses.
               2.   All films on reserve in Undergraduate Library Media Center
               3.   All films available for rental at VisArt in Carrboro
               4.   Several films available for purchase in UNC bookstore
               5.   Professor Brodey has some extra copies for you to borrow
               6.   Netflix

       GROUP PRESENTATIONS:
       There will be 6 group film presentations; each student will take part in one. The
       topics will be the following:
              Group 1: Northanger Abbey and Ruby in Paradise *
              Group 2: Pride and Prejudice and Bride and Prejudice
              Group 3: Pride and Prejudice and You’ve Got Mail *
              Group 4: Mansfield Park and Rozema’s Mansfield Park
              Group 5: Mansfield Park and Metropolitan *
              Group 6: Emma and Clueless

       You will need to plan ahead carefully for these presentations. The three
       individuals in the group must (a) have completed the novel, (b) have seen the
       film, (c) have met together at least once since completing both, and (d) have
       concrete ideas for the presentation by at least 8 days before the presentation date.
       By one week before the presentation date, I expect the group to meet with me
       to plan for the presentation. The presentations will be approximately 20-25
       minutes long and should include very brief and purposeful use of clips. The main
       purpose will be to understand the transposition of themes or techniques in
       Austen’s novel across media, and frequently across time and culture as well. (*=
       the hardest projects)

       BLACKBOARD:
       We will use blackboard for much of our classroom communication
       http://blackboard.unc.edu. There will be many useful links and documents posted
       there, increasing as the courses progresses. You are welcome to contribute to the
       library we amass, when you find anything particularly interesting. There will also
       be a regular Blackboard discussion board assignment each week: each student
       will need to address one question on-line for each class and post it by 9 am on
       the day of our class meeting. Each student will write at least 20 of these during
       the course of the semester (and at least two on each novel) and any extra will be
       eligible for extra credit—as will be entries of particular merit. Remember always
       to respond to the entries that have come before you and to make specific textual
       citations for your evidence.

HONOR CODE:
The UNC Honor Code will apply to all work completed for this course, whether graded
or ungraded. For the text of the Honor Code, please see http://instrument.unc.edu.
Please remember to sign the honor code on all assignments that you turn in. Feel free to
ask me if you have any questions regarding this policy.
•   Northanger Abbey, BBCV4378 (1990). 90 mins.
    Dramatised by Maggie Wadey, producer Louis Marks, director Giles Foster.
    Starring Peter Firth, Googie Withers, Robert Hardy, Katherine Schlessinger.
    The last of the six to reach the screens, and hardest to dramatise. Much of the
    gothic parody inevitably lost. Robert Hardy's jovial General Tilney is enjoyable.
•   Sense and Sensibility, BBCV4332 (Rodney Bennett 1990). 174 mins.
    Dramatised by Alexander Baron, producer Barry Letts, director Rodney Bennett.
    Tightly edited and with dubious sound quality; would benefit from a `complete
    and digitally remastered' version as provided for P&P. The treatment of the
    Dashwoods' parsimony, and the outstandingly pedestrian demeanour of Colonel
    Brandon, remain in the memory.
•   Sense and Sensibility [Recently released on video] (1995)
    Dramatized by Emma Thompson, director Ang Lee
    Starring Emma Thompson (Elinor), Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet (Marianne),
    Hugh Grant (Edward Ferrars), Greg Wise (Willoughby), Imogen Stubbs, Gemma
    Jones



•   Pride and Prejudice, BBCV4960 (Cyril Coke. 1993). Double video, 259 mins.
    (previously, shorter version BBCV4331).
    Dramatised by Fay Weldon, producer Jonathan Powell, director Cyril Coke.
    Starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul.
    Novelist Fay Weldon plays this one for laughs; Mr. Collins and Mary (with book
    permanently 18 inches from her nose) are prominent. Strong leads for Elizabeth
    and Darcy.
        o Bad news: the longer remastered version of this video is not available in
            the U.S. I bought the remastered video at the BBC World shop in Bush
            House, near Kingsway in London. They are constantly being asked about
            US-compatible videos and simply give the CBS address (see at end).
            (Having flogged the rights, I suppose they can't then produce US versions
            themselves.) The address for mail order is BBC Video Ltd, BBC
            Worldwide Ltd, 80 Wood Lane, London W12 0TT. Phone is 0181-576-
            2000 and fax is 0181-576-3264, but be warned that European videos are in
            a format that generally cannnot be played on US VCR's (PAL instead of
            NTSC).
•   Pride and Prejudice, BBCV 5702 (Simon Langton, 1995). Double video, 301
    mins.
    Adapted by Andrew Davies, producer Sue Birtwistle, director Simon Langton.
    Starring Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, David Bamber, Crispin Bonham-Carter and
    Susannah Harker.
    Darcy is seen fencing, and at Pemberley he is dripping wet in shirtsleeves, after an
    energetic dip in the lake, when he meets Elizabeth. These scenes, and others of
    Lydia and Wickham in London, are added to show the modern viewer that
    gentlemen did more than just dance, pose in drawing rooms and shoot wildlife.
    This production takes more liberties than the old Fay Weldon one did, but much
    can be forgiven in such a competent piece of TV drama. There's always the book.
        o This was first shown in America over the A&E cable network, on Jan. 14-
            16, 1996 (and has been reshown there from time to time).
        o See also the `Republic of Pemberley' (Jane Austen writings and
            adaptations discussion board site, including the Pride and Prejudice movie
            discussion bulletin board)
•   Pride and Prejudice, Warner Home Video / MGM / Loew's Incorporated (Robert
    Z. Leonard 1940; video 1989), black-and-white.
    Screenplay by Aldous Huxley and Jane Murfin, producer Hunt Stromberg,
    director Robert Z. Leonard.
    Starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.
    Yes, "that version" is available on video. As it says on the box, "when the proud,
    aristocratic Mr. Darcy condescends to enter the Bennets' lives by proposing
    marriage to Elizabeth, nothing but confusion follows". Mrs. Bennet, surely, is W.
    C. Fields in drag.



•   Mansfield Park, BBCV4333 (David Giles 1990). Double video, 261 mins.
    Dramatised by Ken Taylor, producer Betty Willingale, director David Giles.
    Starring Anna Massey, Bernard Hepton, Nicholas Farrel, Sylvestra Le Touzel.
    Sylvestra Le Touzel plays Fanny with a baffled air, like a mole just emerged into
    the light. But not without charm. The theatricals give the dramatisation a solid
    centre. Anna Massey is outstanding as Aunt Norris.
•   Emma, BBCV4997 (John Glenister 1993). Double video, 257 mins.
    Dramatised by Denis Constanduros, producer Martin Lisemore, director John
    Glenister.
    Starring Doran Godwin, John Carson, Donald Eccles, Constance Chapman.
    Solid adaptation. Harriet Smith stultifyingly dim, not a role for a young actress to
    kill for.
•   Emma, initial release August Douglas McGrath 1996.
    Director Douglas McGrath, Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma Woodhouse.



•   Emma (Sue Birtwhistle, 1996) 2hrs. (ITV)
    Adapted by Andrew Davies, produced by Sue Birtwhistle
    Kate Beckinsale as Emma Woodhouse.
    (Rumors of a BBC miniseries Emma, to appear in 1997, were based on the early
    plans for what later became the ITV Emma.)



•   (Howard Baker , 1971)225 mins. (Originally produced by Granada Television in
    1971 and `bought in' to complete the set of six.)
    Adapted by Julian Mitchell, produced and directed by Howard Baker.
       Starring Ann Firbank and Bryan Marshall.
       A production as true to the book as the other five. Even older than the others, so
       production values now look rickety, but the content is there. Bryan Marshall
       stands out as being as handsome as the blond pretty-boy actors who play the
       hollow Willoughby, Wickham, and the younger Mr. Elliot in this selection of
       videos -- even though he is not the villain.
   •   Persuasion, BBCV5616 (director Roger Mitchell 1995), 102 mins.
       Screenplay by Nick Dear, producer Fiona Finlay, director Roger Mitchell.
       Starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.
       Good modern television drama, taken at a dizzying pace (less than half the length
       of the 1971 rendition). The media hype calculated to make the most of
       controversial aspects, such as the public kiss between Anne Elliot and Captain
       Wentworth, marks a new approach to Jane Austen on TV.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE:

PART I. THE YOUNG AUSTEN AND ‘HORRID’ TRANSPOSITIONS
        DATE         READING DUE TODAY VIEWING DUE TODAY

Thurs., January 12
Tues., January 17             Werther excerpt and Love
                              and Freindship (sic)
Thurs., January 19            Udolpho excerpt, Rambler
                              no. 4, and Northanger
                              Abbey
Tues., January 24             Northanger Abbey
Thurs., January 26
                              Northanger Abbey

Tues., January 31             Northanger Abbey               Ruby in Paradise
                              Group Film Presentation


PART II. MULTICULTURAL PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
         DATE        READING DUE TODAY VIEWING DUE TODAY

Tues., February 7             Pride and Prejudice
Thurs., February 9            Pride and Prejudice
Tues., February 14            Pride and Prejudice
Thurs., February 16           Pride and Prejudice
Tues., February 21            Group Film Presentation        Bride and Prejudice
Thurs., February 23           Grad. Pushkin Presentation
Tues., February 28            Grad. Tanizaki Presentation
Thurs., March 2               Group Film Presentation        You’ve Got Mail
PART III. MANSFIELD PARK AND COLONIAL EXPECTATIONS
         DATE         READING DUE TODAY VIEWING DUE TODAY

Tues., March 7      Mansfield Park
Thurs., March 9     Mansfield Park and
                    Said essay/ Grad.
                    presentation
Tues., March 14     SPRING BREAK

Thurs., March 16    SPRING BREAK

Tues., March 21     Mansfield Park
Thurs., March 23    Mansfield Park                Mansfield Park (Rozema)
                    Group Film Presentation
Tues., March 28     Group Film Presentation       Metropolitan


PART IV. URBAN AND RURAL EMMAS
        DATE         READING DUE TODAY            VIEWING DUE TODAY

Thurs., March 30    Emma
Tues., April 4      Emma
Thurs., April 6     Emma
Tues., April 11     Emma                          Clueless
Thurs., April 13    Grad. Flaubert Presentation
Tues., April 18     Narrative Technique


PART V. AUSTEN AND THE COMMERCE OF NATIONS
        DATE         READING DUE TODAY VIEWING DUE TODAY

Thurs., April 20    Persuasion
Tues., April 25     Persuasion
Thurs., April 27    Persuasion and “Sanditon”

Mon., May 2: 4 pm        FINAL RESEARCH PAPERS DUE AT TIME
                              SLOTTED FOR FINAL EXAM

				
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