Page tree

Get started by adding some pages to this space. Create page.

Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.

The Adapted Screenplays of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Adaptation Studies, Screenwriting Studies, Literature, Film


Thesis Description:

My thesis explores the adapted screenplays of the novelist and Merchant Ivory screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, aiming to promote the inclusion of screenplays in adaptation study and highlight the largely overlooked work of an influential film writer. With Jhabvala as my example, this project explores complexities of the screenwriter's role in film adaptation, particularly self-adaptation, being a novelist-turned-screenwriter and a female writer.



Professor Deborah Cartmell, De Montfort University

Professor Claire Monk, De Montfort University



  • Midlands3Cities/AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (full scholarship) - De Montfort University
  • PhD scholarship (fees only) - De Montfort University
  • MA Humanities (Adaptation Studies), Distinction - De Montfort University
  • BA English Literature and Film Studies, First Class with Honours - University of Gloucestershire


SDF activities:

Research Visit to the University of Oregon Special Collections and Archives, October 2016

 Over a three week period, I accessed the Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Papers and the James Ivory Papers at the University of Oregon. The materials in these collections will form the basis of the case studies in my thesis and were vital for my research. There are limited screenplays by Jhabvala available in the UK and those that are available are mainly copies. Through my research visit I have been able to read almost the entire of Jhabvala's oeuvre and benefit from viewing original screenplay drafts which often include insightful annotations. As well as being able to study various screenplay drafts and therefore track the progression of the adaptations, I was also able to view outlines and other developmental documents, correspondence and writing contracts. These materials are vital for understanding the working practices of Merchant Ivory and Jhabvala's position within the production company.

Conference Attendance at the 'Adaptations and History' international conference, September 2016

I delivered my paper 'Rewriting and (readaptation): screenwriters' superseding and superseded voices' at the Association of Adaptation Studies annual, international conference, at St. Anne's College, Oxford.

Conference Papers:

  • Rewriting and (re)adaptation: screenwriters' superseding and superseded voices. 'Adaptations and History' conference, hosted by the Association of Adaptation Studies, Oxford, 26-27 September 2016.
  • Screenwriting, Self-Adaptation and Collaborative Authorship: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's The Householder and Heat and Dust. '9th Screenwriting Research Network Conference: Screenwriting between Artistic Freedom and Norms' conference, hosted by Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds, in partnership with Leeds Trinity University, 8-10 September 2016. 

  • Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Merchant Ivory's Collaborative Filmmaking, or, Who did what and who cares? 'Works in Progress' postgraduate conference, hosted by De Montfort University, 7th July 2016.  

  • The Role of the Screenwriter in Adaptations of A Room with a View. 'Andrew Davies: The Screenwriter as Adaptor' conference, hosted by the Centre for Adaptations and Centre for Textual Studies, De Montfort University, 18 March 2016.

  • Absorbing the Worlds of Others: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's Adapted Screenplays and Cities. 'Adaptations and the Metropolis' conference, hosted by the Association of Adaptation Studies, London, 24-25 September 2015. 

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

  • Upcoming publication in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. Article titled: 'A Room with Many Views: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's and Andrew Davies' adapted screenplays for A Room with a View (1985, 2007)'
  • Coordinating Evolving Stories postgraduate conference, hosted by GradCATS, De Montfort University
  • DMU's representative on the M3C Student Advisory Form.
  • Curator Internship for the Peter Whitehead Archive, De Montfort University.
  • Coordinated Works in Progress postgraduate conference, hosted by GradCATS, De Montfort University.
  • Research Assistant to Professor Gabriel Egan, De Montfort University.
  • Coordinator of the Postgraduate-Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS) within the English department at De Montfort University.
  • Taught on Introduction to the Novel module, De Montfort University.
  • Coordinated Texts in Times of Conflict postgraduate conference, hosted by GradCATS, De Montfort University.
  • Archiving and Digitisation Internship at the Cinema and Television History Centre, De Montfort University. 


Other Research Interests:

  • Modernist literature
  • Transmedia storytelling
  • Modern media forms


Midlands3Cities/AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership