FWIS 197: Déjà vu: Literary Adaptations and Spinoffs
An interview with Jennifer Hargrave, Instructor
What do you think is interesting/distinctive about this FWIS course?
“Déjà vu: Literary Adaptations and Spinoffs” will give you a chance to read and analyze all different texts: fairy tales, poetry, novels, and even films. Even for students who intend to go into a STEM field, this class will give you an opportunity to develop strong reading skills that you will be able to apply to any text. But the most distinctive aspect of this class will be our developed understanding of how texts have their own cultural history, histories that we are rarely aware of whether we are watching Penny Dreadful or reading Lord of the Rings—both texts with very long cultural histories.
What, specifically, are you excited about teaching in your FWIS this semester?
I’m REALLY looking forward to teaching the novel Pride and Prejudice alongside the new film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The movie is wonderfully horrible (who doesn’t want to see zombies terrorizing nineteenth-century Britons?!) but also a very interesting adaptation of the classic story that really reflects our cultural moment.
What advice do you have for first-year students?
TRY EVERYTHING. Don’t align yourself with a major too quickly. Give yourself at least one semester to really experiment with different subjects to which you were not exposed in high school. The FWIS program is a great time to try something new. If you usually gravitate toward English classes, try one of the science-oriented classes. If you are really interested in Engineering, try a humanities class. You are already required to take a FWIS class, so use this as an opportunity to learn about a subject in which you wouldn’t normally be interested. HAVE FUN.