Adaptation as Analysis: Student Projects on Medievalism and Tolkien, part 1


As usual, students in my Studies in Medievalism course have created wonderful projects to demonstrate their engagement with our texts and to experience first-hand the process of adaptation, a main theme in our seminar.

Fandom as Classroom Practice: A Teaching Guide book cover

I’ve written about this type of assignment before in my essay “Adaptation as Analysis: Creative Work in an English Classroom” that is in Katherine Anderson Howell’s volume, Fandom as Classroom Practice: A Teaching Guide (U of Iowa Press, 2018). One of the student projects illustrated and discussed in that essay can be seen here and a review of another year in the course is posted here.

In today’s post I’d like to share, with his permission, Dillon Hughson’s adaptation project, a modernized version of the Old Icelandic poem “Hárbarðsljóð” or “Harbard’s Song” that appears in the Poetic Edda. This is a “flyting” poem — a contest of insults between two people, in this case Thor and Harbard, a ferryman who is usually identified as Odin in disguise. As do all the students in my course, Dillon had to write an analysis of the source text and explain how he adapted it. He researched the elements of a flyting and then tried to reproduce those features by placing Thor and Odin in a modern comedic context.

Enjoy his video! And watch for more student projects posted here in the weeks ahead.

With the permission of Dillon Hughson. Written and directed by Dillon Hughson. Thor: Matthew Hughson. Odin: Brennan Hughson. Copyright Dillon Hughson.


3 responses to “Adaptation as Analysis: Student Projects on Medievalism and Tolkien, part 1”

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