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10 cp from 100-level unit in Literature


ENGL222 Interplay Text and Culture

Unit rationale, description and aim

People working in the areas of writing, the media and literary studies need to understand the interplay between textual and screen media. But what types of texts are films based on novels, and what questions can be posed about the adaptation process that may enhance an understanding of both text and film? This unit examines the relationships between literature such as poetry, plays, short stories and novels and visual texts such as film, television and other screen media through the perspective of adaptation. Examining adaptation requires analysis of the common ground between visual and literary texts as well as a consideration of their formal and institutional differences. This unit also explores the functions of text and film culture-their connections to social systems, markets and contexts of production. The aim of this unit is to enable students to analyse and interpret visual and literary texts by examining the processes, contexts and products of adaptation.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate broad and deep knowledge of a range of literary theories and periods and apply these to a variety of literary texts in order to generate interpretations of literary adaptations (GA4, GA5, GA9) 

LO2 - Devise, develop and communicate complex ideas and concepts on adaptation to a specified audience using both critical and creative approaches including audio, digital, oral, visual or written form as appropriate (GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10) 

LO3 - Locate, interpret and appropriately reference a range of texts and critical resources and use them to sustain a nuanced evidence-based argument in a self-devised project (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10) 

LO4 - Critically analyse evidence and synthesise scholarship in adaptation according to the methodological and ethical conventions of the discipline (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10) 

LO5  - Critically analyse key literary theories and concepts and over time and recognise and reflect on the significance of screen texts in imagining and interpreting the world over time (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA8). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • A range of historical frameworks for understanding the relationship between word and image 
  • Examination of the visual in writing including examples of imagery and ekphrasis in written texts 
  • Uses of literary and written texts in visual media 
  • Selected elements of film theory and terminology of film analysis 
  • Theories of material culture and mechanical reproduction of art  
  • The role of institutions and industries in adaptations 
  • Critical approaches to the process of adaptation from written narrative to visual narrative 
  • Analysis of examples of adaptation from novel/story to film/television 
  • Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and other world Indigenous, cultural protocols for adaptation of writings and other cultural knowledges.    

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will use class exercises, discussions and formal assignments to encourage analyses of the relationship between literary and visual texts by examining the processes and contexts of adaptation. The formal student engagement will be developed through in-class exercises including group work encouraging the exploration of relevant examples of adaptation from short story or novel to film or television forms. Students will investigate critical concepts relevant to adaptation and consider these in relation to particular sets of texts. The unit will encourage students to analyse literary adaptation in relation to form and content, as well as in the light of contexts of production. The unit will emphasise clear writing and research as key skills in developing well-argued and evidence-based analyses. 

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with university assessment requirements. 

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome.  

Assessment task one is designed to be primarily formative, developing knowledge, theoretical concepts and critical debates. 

The second task requires students to demonstrate their ability to synthesise scholarly arguments with their own ideas and apply these to the analysis of examples of literary adaptation. 

The final research requires students to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of literary adaptation and key debates within the scholarship that addresses it. Students will propose and develop a research project addressing a specific example of adaptation. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Formative Task 

This will test the understanding of foundational concepts including analytical terms and theories of adaptation. 



GA4, GA5, GA9  

Analytical Writing Task 

This task requires the application of critical and theoretical material to an example of adaptation. 


LO1, LO2, LO4  

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Research Writing Task 

This task requires students to research a specified form of adaptation and to use knowledge of the field to examine a particular example. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 LO5  

GA1 - GA10 

Representative texts and references

Burnham Bloom, Abigail and Sanders Pollock, Mary. Victorian Literature and Film Adaptation. Cambria Press, 2011. 

Cartmell, Deborah. A Companion to Literature, Film and Adaptation. John Wiley & Sons, 2012. 

Goggin, Gerard (Ed). Mobile Phone Cultures. Routledge, 2008.  

Grossman, Julie and Palmer, R. Barton (Eds). Adaptation in Visual Culture: Images, Texts, and Their Multiple Worlds. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 

Kennedy-Karpat, Colleen, and Sandberg, Eric (Eds). Adaptation, Awards Culture, and the Value of Prestige. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 

Leo, John R., and Paryż, Marek. 

Projecting Words, Writing Images: Intersections of the Textual and the Visual in American Cultural Practices. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. 

Murray, Simone. The Adaptation Industry. Routledge, 2012. 

Niklas, Pascal and Lindner, Oliver (Eds). Literature: Adaptation and Cultural Appropriation: Literature, Film, and the Arts Walter de Gruyter, 2012.  

Novak, Daniel. Realism, Photography, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction. Cambridge University Press, 2008. 


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