First Year Seminar Examines Identity and Adaptation Through ‘Billy Elliot’

By schwartzsa | December 16, 2011

Chris Mullin, Adjunct Professor of Communications, recently led a trip to the Pennsylvania Academy of Music to see Billy Elliot as part of her First Year Seminar, Exploring Cultural Identity Through Media. The course explores mass media from around the world and how it shapes cultural identity. Students examine mass media in countries other than the United States, in particular Preview destinations including England, Scotland and Spain, and India.

“We looked at the film version of Billy Elliot in class and analyzed it as a product from Great Britain and based on what identities were explored—in particular the idea of gender, feminism and also what it meant to be British during the 1984 Miner’s strike in England,” says Mullin. “We then looked at some ideas of adaptation theory and how the film was adapted for the stage and what identities were changed and altered for the stage production.”