Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868) is the latest of numerous adaptations for the theater, television, and film. Indeed, the novel’s many cross-medial versions have not only contributed to the continuing appeal of the 19th-century children’s classic, each of them has also provided its very own interpretation and added yet another layer of meaning to the 19th-century novel. Hence, and alongside our study of Alcott’s children’s classic itself, this class focuses on the four feature films of Little Women from 1933, 1949, 1994, and 2019. The course aims to familiarize students with central theoretical aspects of the adaptation of novels into films in order to develop an understanding of the specific variation, accentuation, and interpretation which each of the film adaptations has produced under changing cultural, historical, and cinematic contexts.
Please note: This course takes place online and we won’t be meeting every week. You will find the schedule that marks online sessions and study weeks in the course syllabus that will be made available at the beginning of the semester together with the other reading materials. Please purchase and read/watch the following primary texts:
- Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. 1868. Eds. Anne K. Phillips and Gregory Eiselein. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004: https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393976144/about-the-book/product-details.
(part I and II) [the Norton edition is preferable; if you cannot get a hold of it, another edition will do as well]
- Greta Gerwig’s adaptation (2019).
The other following adaptation is available online:
- George Cukor’s adaptation with Katharine Hepburn (1933): https://archive.org/details/LittleWomen1933.