Our first Wednesday brought us (live and in person) a class with Ariane Balizet to discuss Hamlet and different web series related to the play. She teaches at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
She explained why she teaches with adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays: it gives her students perspective on core ideas of literary analysis. We should remember that Shakespeare’s work itself was already adapted. Somehow, we have accepted the thinking that HIS adaptations are inherently superior. Careful, there.
We talked about common themes we see in these adaptations, and the writing of Linda Hutcheon was cited (see the document in our folder, A Theory of Adaptation). Hutcheon’s work argues that we need to think of adaptations as works in and of themselves—as lateral, not hierarchical.
Different web series relating to Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet were reviewed and sampled. There was good class discussion about the value of teaching with adaptations. “The canon is always evolving,” Professor Balizet explained. Students want to work in a linear manner, but we must encourage them to “Move back and forth,” going between a play and a web series, for example.
Lots of slides and resources and tons of new information for us today!