Our Favorite Novels, Our Favorite Films with Laura Richardson


February 20, 2019

PopcornWIH Reporter: Hello, Dr. Richardson! We are really excited to have you back at WIH this semester. In fact, everyone who was in your “Roaring Twenties” and “Romancing the 20th Century” classes has really raved about you and your teaching style! The last time we spoke about your upcoming class “Our Favorite Novels, Our Favorite Films” you were debating on the selections. Can you share with us what you have decided?

Richardson: Unfortunately, one of my original choices, Where’d You Go Bernadette, was set to be released in March but has now been delayed until August. I would still encourage everyone to read the novel and to see the film when it comes out, which is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Cate Blanchett. I still want to include a new film, so we’ll be reading The Aftermath (2014), by Rhidian Brook, and I’ll organize an outing to see the film, which comes out in mid-March. Due to the timing of the film release, we’ll read this novel and discuss this film first. Everything else on the syllabus will remain the same. I’m particularly excited about Austenland, which we’ll read/watch last.

WIH Reporter: Would you suggest that we read the novel and watch the movie before each class? Or, if we don’t have enough time which should we do—read or view?

Richardson: If you don’t have time to read the book, watch the movie! I understand that everyone won’t always have a chance to read the book or watch the film before class. That’s okay! Come to class anyway! I’ll provide a brief synopsis at the beginning of each session. One nice thing about the two-week, book/movie structure is that it gives you a little more time to read the novels; if you start right after we finish talking about the previous book, you’ll have two weeks. Since most of the novels are around 300 pages, if you can make the time to read 20 pages a day, keeping up will be easy. I recommend that everyone start reading The Aftermath now since we’ll talk about it during our first class.

WIH Reporter: Out of curiosity, by the end of the class will we have an idea of what your favorite novel and film adaptation are?

Richardson: Oh boy—there are so many good ones! I’ve included some of my favorites on our syllabus, and I will definitely give you some hints about which ones I like best. Beyond our syllabus, some of my other favorite adaptations include Tolkein/Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series. I watch all 12-hours of the extended editions at least once a year (nerd alert!). Amazon will be releasing a Lord of the Rings TV series, and I’m beyond excited to see what they do with Tolkein’s deep mythology. I also love The Never-Ending Story, To Kill a Mockingbird, the BBC mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice (which I own and also watch every year—devoted Janeite!), Stardust, Adaptation, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Jumanji (if, given the great creative license, this still counts as an adaptation). Can’t wait to start talking about our favorite novels and our favorite films!

Our Favorite Novels, Our Favorite Films” meets on Tuesdays beginning March 26 at 1:00.