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Senior Thesis & Dissertation 

Spring semester of my senior year, I completed a thesis project as the cumulative component of my B.A. in Communication Studies, Major of Distinction. I elected to write a rhetorical criticism essay, researching the American adaptations of classic British texts. This project combined my two majors, the aforementioned Communication Studies, and my B.A. in English. I chose to specifically focus on female writers of the Romantic Period, selecting the most popular novels of Mary Shelly and Jane Austen. The 80-page essay, details the evolution of Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice adaptations, and considers the films through the lenses of both media and gender theory. The final component to the senior project was a Thesis Defense, a video recording of which will be available soon.

 

An abstract of the essay may be found below, and an excerpt for download. The full paper is currently in submission for publication, and is available upon request. 

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Thesi Defense

I was honored to work with my mentor and head of the Temple Communications Studies Department,  Dr. Scott Gratson.

The Survival of Authorial Voice and Agency in American Film Adaptations of Frankenstein​ & ​Pride and Prejudice
 

Abstract

 

This essay explores the effect of American film adaptations onto the reputation and perception of
Mary Shelley’s ​Frankenstein​ and Jane Austen’s ​Pride and Prejudice.​ Though the full title of Shelley work is ​Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus,​ for continuity with secondary sources and research the work shall be referred to by its more common, shortened name. Utilizing the media theories of Guy Debord (1994), Jean Baudrillard (2014), Marshall Mcluhan (2015), and Mikhail Bakhtin (1981), this essay demonstrates the effect of adaptational films onto the reputation and perception of their source texts. Concerning specifically female writers of the 19th century, this discussion also considers gender theories of Bell Hooks (2009), Judith Butler (2007), and Sonja Foss (2009).

 

Keywords: spectacle, hyperreal, literature-to-film adaptation, Romantic literature

 

Download Excerpt (Introduction)

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