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Course content

The interdisciplinary MA in Film and Literature at the University of York examines the lively and symbiotic traffic between written words and cinematic images (through adaptation, borrowing, versioning, negotiation, appropriation, transmediation, analogy, equivalence, resistance, pastiche, collision).

It combines trenchant academic enquiry with passionately committed teaching, recent cinematic releases with early silent cinema, pop culture with high culture, theoretical questions with practical ones, blockbuster with poetry, mainstream with avant-garde, institutional studies with formal aesthetic analysis. And it allows students to determine the particular film/literature balance of the degree according to their own preferences.

Film and Literature both asks what is particular to the narrative codes and presentational conventions of cinema (as opposed to various literary forms) and also pits questions of medium-specificity against shared narrative, interpretive and socio-cultural histories. Through ranging cinematic, literary and theoretical illustration, it examines the ways in which the circulation of ideas between these two influential modes of expression can be more varied, more interesting and sometimes more surreptitious than conventional studies simply of ‘adaptation’ might imply.

Overall, it:
-Enables nuanced and sophisticated case-studies of mainstream literary adaptations for the screen (from classic novels, popular fiction, play texts, Shakespeare, real life news stories and more).
-Innovatively extends academic enquiry into other forms of influence, exchange and response between print and cinematic media (which includes the study of novels, poetry, journalism, reviews, plays, filmscripts, contracts, film censors’ reports and more).
-Roots all films in their broader cultural, historical, industrial, technological and aesthetic contexts.

Assessment

-Four assessed essays of approximately 4,500 words each
-A 14,000-16,000 word dissertation, written in consultation with a supervisor on an agreed topic

Careers

We have an excellent employment record for our postgraduates who are highly prized by top level employers, both in the UK and on the international stage. A combination of outstanding teaching and a supportive collegiate environment enable our students to develop their creativity, intellectual independence and ability to filter complex information and present it persuasively in person and in writing. These are important transferable skills which will always hold their value at the top end of the jobs market.

Visit the Film and Literature - MA page on the University of York website for more details!

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