LIT 380: Shakespeare in Film


Blog (75)

You will write six blog entries this semester based on questions I post. Each blog entry should be approximately 250 words in length. Blog entries that demonstrate that you are engaged with the material will receive full credit. Blog entries that are rushed and anemic, or that fail to address the reading/viewing material covered in the question, will not receive full credit.

Blog entries are not summaries. You should be analyzing the works you are writing about. If you don’t understand the difference between summary and analysis, see me. View some examples of my students previous blog entries at the Shakespeare in Film 2010 blog.

It’s important to remember that you are responsible for the content you post on the internet: you and no one else. You should assume that anyone can read anything you post online, forever. You are also liable for inappropriate communications, libel, and illicit posts, such as reproducing copyrighted material. Use your own discretion when posting. I reserve the right as instructor to remove material that I determine is inappropriate. Adhere to university policies regarding computer usage.

Midterm Exam (100)

The midterm exam will test your comprehension of the material we have read so far. It will include a section that tests your knowledge of the plays we have read up to that point, your understanding of film and critical terminology, and your ability to critically analyze films and text we have read. You will not be allowed to use your textbooks during the exam. There will be no study guide, but you are welcome to ask questions in class or in office hours. More details will be provided as the exam approaches.
Example Questions (.pdf)

Play Review (50)

You will write a review of Griffin’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater which analyzes the directorial choices, performances, costumes, props, sets and staging (as well as any other aspects you find relevant). Your review should include your opinions, but your opinions should be supported by fact (i.e. if you say you liked/disliked something, you must say why and support your opinion with concepts covered in the course–we’ll discuss appropriate review content as well). More details later in the semester.
Assignment Details (.pdf)

Final Paper (125)

A detailed analysis of a film we have covered in the course, including a discussion of how the film interprets Shakespeare’s text. In addition to the required and recommended texts, I expect a discussion of two outside sources. Your paper will also reference at least one other film production based on the source material (Shakespeare’s play). I’ll expect progress reports as the semester ends in the form of a proposal, annotated bibliography, and rough draft. More details later in the semester.
Assignment details (.pdf)

Final Exam (100)

A comprehensive examination which tests your understanding of course readings/films and application of course concepts to those readings/films. This will be a take-home exam which is due at the end of the final exam period for this course determined by the university.

Attendance and Participation (50)

I expect the majority of the conversation to be generated by students. I will occasionally have very brief lectures on critical concepts, but most of discussion in the class will be student generated. We will have small group discussions and other activities from time to time. Each student should expect to make at least one contribution in class every day.

If you come to class and sleep or waste time on your phone/laptop, just expect a low grade for this category. Likewise if you sit silently or stare at the floor all semester.

See the attendance policy on the syllabus. If you regularly miss class, expect a reduction in your grade.

Grading Scale

Grade Points Percentage
A 450-500 90-100
B 400-449 80-89
C 350-399 70-79
D 300-349 60-69
E 299 and below 0-59