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Humanities 101 - Flathers

Finding Adaptations

Adaptations are just modern reworkings of the same play and story. For example, Chi-Raq by Spike Lee is an adaptation of Lysistrata.

One way to find adaptations is to just Google it. Then, you'll want to take a few examples that you find and explore further in the library databases or other credible websites (IMDB, etc.). Wikipedia almost always lists information on adaptations and contemporary examples.

You can also search in the library databases, in particular MLA International Bibliography. To do that:

  • In the first search box, type in the title of your play.
  • In the second search box, use the dropdown menu to select Subject and then type in adaptations.

This should give you not only some adaptations, but also scholarly articles to go with them! Below is an example search.

Finding Themes in Contemporary Examples

Finding themes in contemporary examples is a little different than adaptations, because the contemporary example might not be directly related to the story. Rather, you will need to do research on your play to discover what the intended themes are. Then, you can do some searches for these themes in contemporary media.

One way to do this is to by reading the encyclopedia articles you found (by using that tab on the left!).

Another way is by searching for your play in either Search It or MLA International Bibliography and looking at the Subject Headings. These are words and phrases applied by librarians to group resources together. Below are two sample searches, one in Search It and one in MLA Bibliography. To look at the subject headings, click into the record and then scroll down to where it says "Subject." You could then try searching for these themes in the MLA database (NOT Search It, as it will retrieve everything on that - MLA will only bring back literary and media examples!).

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