Timeless tales, silver screens

September 15, 2006

De Montfort University is seeking a starring role in the emerging field of literature on screen with the launch this week of a new association for academics in the area and a journal to boot, writes Anthea Lipsett.

Deborah Cartmell, subject leader in English at De Montfort, joined nine academics from other institutions to launch the International Association of Literature on Screen Studies at a conference at the university.

Speakers from America, Australasia, the UK and elsewhere in Europe gave talks on authors ranging from Emily Bront and Virginia Woolf to Agatha Christie and Henry James, and on a host of film and television adaptations.

Dr Cartmell said: "From Shakespeare to Chaucer and Du Maurier to Thomas Hardy, to name just a few, classic literature has been adapted for TV and cinema."

Moreover, she added, classic film is increasingly influencing English literature.

"While literature on film has been around since the beginning of cinema and has been responsible for provoking the most heated debates, the subject is only just beginning to receive academic respectability," Dr Cartmell said.

Part of De Montfort's £42,500 Leverhulme Trust grant to promote the subject will go towards a new academic journal - title to be confirmed - that is devoted to literature on screen.

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