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Module LXF-3112:
Bande Dessinee & Adaptation

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Armelle Blin-Rolland

Overall aims and purpose

The bande dessinée, called the Ninth Art in France, is an important form of popular cultural expression. This module maps its relationships with literature and film through the study of adaptation, by looking at transpositions from and into bande dessinée to explore how stories are re-told and re-invented in a different medium and in a different context. We will analyse the work of comics artists and filmmakers such as Marjane Satrapi, Régis Loisel, and Jacques Tardi, and explores issues of autobiography, post-colonialism, concepts of authorship and appropriation, as well as issues of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. The aims of this module are to develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of the process of transposition from and into bande dessinée, of the importance of the medium in popular culture, and to engage with key concepts in adaptation and intermediality studies.

Course content

Topics to be covered in this module include: history of bande dessinée and the status of the medium in contemporary Francophone culture; how to analyse bande dessinée; key concepts in adaptation studies; case study 1: adaptation of a cultural myth; case study 2: autobioBD / autographics and the intertwining of the private and political; case study 3: adaptation from bande dessinée to animation; case study 4: literary adaptation and historical bande dessinee; case study 5: post-colonialism and bande dessinée adaptation: Brittany.

Key texts

Primary texts and film: Peter Pan (Régis Loisel) Persépolis (Marjane Satrapi) Persépolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud) [film] Le Cri du Peuple (Jacques Tardi) Bran Ruz (Deschamps and Auclair)

Recommended reading material : Ann Miller, Reading Bande Dessinée: Critical Approaches to French-Language Comic Strip Laurence Grove, Comics in French: The European Bande Dessinée in Context Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation Julie Sanders, Adaptation & Appropriation

Assessment Criteria


D- - D+: In order to merit the award of credit, students should demonstrate a solid comprehension of the medium of bande dessinée and of concepts in adaptation studies. They should also demonstrate an awareness of relevant critical thinking in bande dessinée and adaptation studies.


C- - B+: Students attaining the higher grades in this course will have shown not only comprehension of the concepts and case studies studied in their own right, but will also demonstrate a clear ability to contextualise them, grasping the historical context of each case study. They will show an ability to explore and re-evaluate critical judgements in the light of their own reading.


A- - A*: Students attaining the highest grades in this course will have thoroughly immersed themselves in primary and secondary reading, with which they will engage at a mature and incisive level. They will produce insightful, nuanced analysis. They will have demonstrated a very high level of engagement with the conceptual as well as factual aspects of the material studied.

Learning outcomes

  1. Show an understanding of some of the key concepts in adaptation studies

  2. Contrast a source text and its adaptation, addressing questions about narrative and representation

  3. Express their ideas in coherently structured presentations and essays

  4. Describe and analyse the varied ways in which the specificities of the medium of comics are used by creators and adapters

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Essay 2500 words 60
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Oral presentation - textual analysis 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 178
Seminar 14

Introductory lectures and one lecture per primary text


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • The ability to comprehend and interact with critical assessments of the primary sources considered (incl. films and/or literature and/or other media in the target language) and their contexts. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4, 5.10, 5.11. 5.13)
  • The ability to comprehend aspects of French history, culture and language. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to critically assess, contextualize and respond to a variety of stimuli (books, films, songs) in French, while increasing the subject-specific vocabulary in French concerning matters of race and immigration and appreciating the nuances of specific terms used in French in such debates. (Benchmark statement 5.3 and 5.4)
  • The ability to engage with issues of form, style, content and target audience, thus coming to a wider understanding of the role of literature and/or film and/or other media in wider cultural contexts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to critically understand a specific aspect of French or Francophone culture and its relationship to other cultures. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • Articulate the contribution that comic art has made to French culture at a national and international level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to critically understand the importance of comic art in Francophone culture throughout the twentieth century, and of its relevance, through the focus on adaptation, to French society. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.11)

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: